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Impact of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior on Spontaneous Female and Male Fertility: A Systematic Review.

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BACKGROUND: Before pregnancy is recognized, ovulation, fertilization, and implantation must all occur. Physical activity and sedentary behavior may impact pregnancy success by altering each or all of these processes. The aim of this review was to review the association between physical activity and sedentary behavior with spontaneous female and male fertility. METHOD: PubMed/MEDLINE, Web of Science, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, and Embase were searched from inception to August 9, 2021. Eligible studies included randomized controlled trials or observational studies, published in English, describing an association between physical activity or sedentary behavior (exposures) and spontaneous fertility (outcome) among women or men. RESULTS: Thirty-four studies from 31 unique populations were included in this review (12 cross-sectional studies, 10 cohort studies, 6 case-control studies, 5 randomized controlled trials, and one case-cohort study). Of the 25 studies among women, the majority identified mixed results (n = 11) or no association (n = 9) between physical activity and female fertility. Seven studies reported on female fertility and sedentary behavior, and 2 found sedentary behavior was associated with decreased female fertility. Of the 11 studies among men, most of the studies (n = 6) found that physical activity was associated with increased male fertility. Two of the studies reported on male fertility and sedentary behavior, and neither identified an association. CONCLUSIONS: The association between spontaneous fertility and physical activity in both men and women remains unclear, and the association with sedentary behavior remains largely unexplored.



exercise, fecundability, infertility, leisure-time physical activity, Pregnancy, Humans, Male, Female, Exercise, Sedentary Behavior, Cohort Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Fertility, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

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J Phys Act Health

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Human Kinetics
Wellcome Trust (107337/A/15/Z)
MRC (MC_UU_00006/5)
We acknowledge support by the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health (NIH, #UL1TR000083). Author Brinson was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (T32 HD091058). Dr. da Silva was supported by the Brazilian Government through the Science Without Borders Program (CNPq - Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (200809/2015-6)). Dr. Hesketh was supported by the Wellcome Trust (107337/Z/15/Z) and the Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00006/5). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies. For the purpose of Open Access, the authors have applied a Creative Commons (CC BY) license to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.