The Thinking 
Housewife
 

Exercise and Infertility

June 14, 2017

IN THE past, the belief that highly strenuous exercise compromised the health and fertility of women was common and led to efforts to encourage women to pursue less demanding athletic activity, such as tennis, field hockey, calisthenics, and archery.

This belief, frequently ridiculed in the age of feminism, has been vindicated with time (the view that women should engage in no vigorous exercise has not.)

The “Female Athlete Triad” is a growing concern.  From Runner’s World:

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, as many as 44 per cent of athletic women experience changes in their menstrual cycle, or have seen their periods stop altogether (amenorrhoea) at some time.

The symptoms may be there but female runners sometimes assume that, even though their periods may have stopped, they’re healthy in other ways thanks to their running. In truth amenorrhoea can lead to infertility and a loss of bone density. In the short term that might mean more stress fractures, but in the long term difficulty conceiving and the early onset of osteoporosis are also possibilities.

In the 1970s experts thought amenorrhoea was linked to weight loss or low body fat but that view has since changed. Now an energy imbalance is thought to be the key: “We think that these women are in a ‘low-energy’ state, meaning they are expending more calories than they are replenishing with dietary intake,” says Professor Anne Loucks of Ohio University in the USA. The theory goes that if there isn’t enough energy for the body to function well on every level, it prioritises, using available calories to get you through your 10-mile training run rather than maintain reproductive function. (Source)

See more here.

— Comments —

Terry Morris writes:

The theory goes that if there isn’t enough energy for the body to function well on every level, it prioritises, using available calories to get you through your 10-mile training run rather than maintain reproductive function.

Per the usual, then, nature auto-corrects. A woman who prioritizes participation in sports and fitness activities over motherhood and homemaking, is not fit to be a mother, wife or homemaker. Therefore nature takes her course.

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