Habitual physical activity levels in women attending the one-stop infertility clinic: a prospective cross-sectional observational study

Tempest, Nicola ORCID: 0000-0003-3633-1592, France-Ratcliffe, Madeleine, Al-Lamee, Hannan, Oliver, Evie R, Slaine, Emily E, Drakeley, Andrew J, Sprung, Victoria S ORCID: 0000-0002-2666-4986 and Hapangama, Dharani K ORCID: 0000-0003-0270-0150
(2022) Habitual physical activity levels in women attending the one-stop infertility clinic: a prospective cross-sectional observational study. REPRODUCTION AND FERTILITY, 3 (3). pp. 231-237.

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Optimisation of lifestyle factors such as smoking and alcohol are encouraged to improve fecundability rates in the fertility setting. Currently, routine fertility consultations do not involve counselling or imparting advice regarding habitual physical activity (PA) and/or structured exercise, despite data showing that vigorous PA can be associated with delayed time to pregnancy. Therefore, this study aimed to determine habitual PA in a sample of women attending the one stop infertility (OSI) clinic. 250 women attending a large tertiary level NHS fertility unit prospectively anonymously completed a questionnaire over a period of 9 months. Participant's (mean age 34±5years, mean BMI 29±7kg/m2) habitual PA levels varied from vigorous exercise on ≥5 days/week (8%, n=17), to no moderate or high intensity activities across the whole week (66%, n=29). The majority of women reported no structured exercise (72%, n=179). No association was identified between any domain of PA and BMI, age, alcohol units, regular periods, or time spent trying to conceive (P > 0.05). Participant's habitual PA levels varied widely and no association between any domain of PA and background of the women was identified. No existing evidence and/or guidelines to explicitly inform women attempting to conceive regarding recommended PA levels are available, despite PA being a modifiable, affordable, and feasible lifestyle choice with the possible potential to improve fertility. A large-scale, clinical trial assessing effects of PA on fecundability is warranted to gain insights into the potential of this lifestyle factor to improve fertility outcomes and to explore the underlying biological mechanisms involved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: physical activity, exercise, fertility, infertility, conception
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Life Courses and Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2023 09:35
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2023 09:35
DOI: 10.1530/RAF-22-0067
Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1530/RAF-22-0067
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3168095