Exercise interventions and fertility outcomes for women with obesity and experiencing infertility: a narrative review

Maher, Rebecca Ann (2022) Exercise interventions and fertility outcomes for women with obesity and experiencing infertility: a narrative review. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Introduction: Obesity negatively impacts fertility. Women with obesity and experiencing infertility may improve fertility outcomes through exercise, however there is limited evidence on exercise prescription for this population. Specifically, there is limited information on: (1) exercise interventions that are effective for women with obesity and experiencing infertility, and (2) fertility outcomes impacted by exercise interventions. Purpose: This narrative review will provide an analysis of current exercise interventions and the fertility outcomes reported in the literature. Methods: A systematic search was completed in PubMed, Embase, Cochrane, and CINAHL. Inclusion criteria for this review included quantitative studies published between 2005-2021 reporting on exercise interventions for women (aged 18-40 years), experiencing obesity (defined as BMI >28kg/m2), and infertility (lasting >1 year). Data were extracted on exercise technique, intensity, duration, and fertility outcomes. Results: Out of 574 articles, 16 publications met review criteria and were included. Ten of the 16 studies demonstrated improvements in the reported primary outcome, and all studies reported benefits in at least one fertility outcome. Cyclic exercise (i.e., walking, cycling) is the technique most incorporated into the exercise intervention, though a combination of cyclic, acyclic (i.e., circuit training, bootcamp), or individualized is often used. Several fertility outcomes are reported; however, rate of conception, pregnancy, and live birth rates are the most common. Conclusion: There are large variations in the specific exercise prescriptions recommended to improve fertility. Most studies examined reported statistically significant positive changes in fertility outcomes after an exercise.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/15380
Item ID: 15380
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Keywords: obesity, exercise, infertility, review
Department(s): Human Kinetics and Recreation, School of > Kinesiology
Date: January 2022
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/T1ME-5W36
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Obesity; Exercise; Infertility.

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