Can too much exercise hurt our chances of conceiving?

How Body Mass and Physical Activity Affect Fertility

You don't have to be a physician or a prominent researcher to know that no one person is the same. So, to say a particular weight is healthy is to oversimplify the matter. Height, body composition and even sex have to be factored into the equation.

The Body Mass Index can give you a broad idea of what's considered a normal weight for someone of your height and sex. But don't stop there. In addition, you'll want to figure your body composition. A woman whose body mass measurement is less than 85 percent of a healthy weight range on the BMI scale may have a harder time becoming pregnant [source: Chang].

Less than ideal estrogen levels are connected with being underweight. Anovulation -- the inability to ovulate -- is also associated with low body weight [source: Attain Fertility]. Some sports medical doctors suggest that a woman's body simply determines that its environment can't provide sufficient nutrition to sustain a new life [source: Heckel].

The good news is that a modest amount of weight gain appears to restore fertility [source: Heckel]. It's important to remember, however, that the weight gain recommended is generally small. Overweight and obese people also risk infertility and they face a higher incidence of miscarriage [source: Attain Fertility].

The next issue to consider is the definition of too much exercise. Click ahead to learn what is and isn't a healthy activity level for a parent-to-be.