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Ovulation Induction and Exercise

Question:

Hi Dr. Ramirez,

My husband and I are currently having Ovulation Induction (OI) because I have secondary amenorrhea and don’t ovulate by myself. We’ve just been through our third cycle, which (like the other two) resulted in ovulation but no baby!

I go for long brisk walks every day (5 miles), but that’s pretty much it: I don’t do any other exercise other than those brisk walks. At first, the doctors didn’t seem to think that would affect my chances of getting pregnant: they advise against strenuous exercise, but they thought brisk walking every morning would be fine.

Now they’re wondering if there’s any sort of correlation – and I wondered if you had any insights?

Thanks very much! S. from Michigan.

Answer:

Hello,

Your walks are fine! They are not affecting your chances of getting pregnant.  Keep in mind that OI is just returning your ovarian function to normal.  It takes the average woman under 30 years old, 8-12 months to achieve pregnancy naturally.  With super-ovulation (getting you to ovulate more than 1 egg per month), it takes up to 6 months to achieve pregnancy.  So, 3 cycles may not be enough.  There are 10 steps  your body has to accomplish in order to achieve a pregnancy.  Ovulation Induction is helping the first two steps so the remaining 8 steps have to be accomplished naturally.  The body does not work perfectly every month (unlike rabbits) and that is why it takes longer for humans to get pregnant.  If you are not successful after 6 months of OI, then that indicates that there is probably something else preventing the pregnancy so a full evaluation should be done prior to moving to the next treatment step.

Good luck!

Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG

Monterey Bay IVF

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