Exercise to Boost Fertility When You Have PCOS

When trying to conceive, most women want to make sure that they are doing what they can to get pregnant quicker. This is especially true for women with PCOS or women who need to undergo fertility treatment to get pregnant. When potentially investing thousands of dollars and months of time, it is extremely important to do everything you can to help boost your own natural fertility. Regular exercise has been shown to improve fertility in women with PCOS.

Women in a yoga class
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Why Exercise Can Help You Get Pregnant

Starting an exercise regimen is best done early, at least three months before you plan to start trying. Of course, if you have any health issues or are immediately starting infertility treatment, please check with your physician prior to starting a new exercise regimen.

There is an unmistakable link between PCOS and weight gain. Many, though not all, women who have PCOS have an issue with their weight. The hormonal changes that occur with this disease aren’t just an imbalance of the reproductive hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone.

Some studies have shown that consistent exercise and weight loss can be helpful in regulating your reproductive hormones and getting your PCOS symptoms under control. This includes, of course, inducing ovulation and regulating your periods. Some women find that even a small weight loss can be effective in helping their periods become more regular. As you know, a more regular period can make it easier to conceive because it allows you to more readily predict ovulation and time intercourse.

Best Exercises to Do

So what type of exercise is most effective for boosting your fertility? The type of exercise is less important than how regularly you actually use it.

The best exercises to do are the ones that you enjoy. If you love Zumba or swimming or play on a basketball or softball team, this will be more effective (and fun) for you then forcing yourself to run or exercise in a gym.

Both cardio training and weight lifting can help improve your overall health, including lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure, improving insulin resistance and encouraging weight loss. Consistent exercise helps you manage stress better, increase the quality and amount of your sleep and can even improve symptoms of depression, all of which can boost your overall health and fertility. Finally, exercising throughout pregnancy.

Yoga has been shown to be especially effective in improving fertility and PCOS. It is important to understand that yoga will not cure your PCOS, but will rather help you feel more connected to your body, restore hormone balance and can even help increase blood circulation to the pelvic region. In addition, yoga is a great tool to help you manage stress and increase your overall feeling of well-being, both of which can improve fertility. There are many places that offer yoga for fertility classes, or you can even find DVD’s that you can purchase and use at home. Also, check out Resolve or some of the other fertility organizations; they sometimes offer free webinars on yoga or other fertility-boosting measures.

Please keep in mind that exercising to boost your fertility is not a situation where if one hour is good for you, six hours must be even better. Too much exercise can actually have the opposite effect and stop your menstrual cycles altogether. It can also cause undue stress on your body and hamper your ability to get pregnant.​

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Siddiqui NI, Nessa A, Hossain MA. Regular physical exercise: way to healthy life. Mymensingh Med J. 2010;19(1):154-8. PMID:20046192

  3. Sengupta P. Challenge of infertility: How protective the yoga therapy isAnc Sci Life. 2012;32(1):61–62. doi:10.4103/0257-7941.113796

  4. Cho GJ, Han SW, Shin JH, Kim T. Effects of intensive training on menstrual function and certain serum hormones and peptides related to the female reproductive systemMedicine (Baltimore). 2017;96(21):e6876. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000006876

By Nicole Galan, RN
Nicole Galan, RN, is a registered nurse and the author of "The Everything Fertility Book."