Author: Atuegbu Chidiadi Maryann
Department: Chemical Pathology
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka
This study evaluated the effect of one month moderate -to-vigorous intensity physical exercise on the ovarian reserve status, ovulatory status and the serum levels of some minerals in premenopausal female university students. Thirty female subjects aged 19-25 years participated in this study and were divided into 2 groups, 15 subjects that did exercise for 1 month (exercise group) and 15 controls that did not do any form of exercise (non-exercise group). Before-exercise blood samples were collected from the two groups on day 3 and day 21 of the menstrual cycle. The exercise group started exercise on day 1 of the next menstrual cycle and did it for one month. After-exercise blood samples were collected from the two groups on day 3 and day 21 of the next menstrual cycle. The concentrations of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Progesterone (Prog.) and Estrogen (E2) were measured using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) method. The ovarian reserve status was evaluated based on FSH, E2 and LH values of day 3 of menstrual cycle while the ovulatory status was evaluated based on Progesterone value of day 21 of the menstrual cycle. There were no significant differences in the mean age and BMI of exercise group and non-exercise group (21.20±1.7 and 21.33±1.68 years) and (23.27±0.89 and 22.84±1.31kg/m2)respectively. There was significant reduction in weight and BMI of the exercise group compared with non-exercise group after one month of exercise. There was also significant reduction in after-exercise weight and therefore BMI of the exercise group compared with their before-exercise weight and BMI. There were no significant differences in the before-exercise levels of day 3 Estrogen, FSH, LH and day 21 progesterone of the exercise group compared with non-exercise group. After 1 month of exercise, there were significant differences between the before-exercise and after-exercise levels of day 3 estrogen, FSH, LH and day 21 progesterone of the exercise group (P<0.05). Between the exercise and the non-exercise groups, there were significant differences in the after exercise levels of day 3 Estrogen, FSH, LH and day 21 Progesterone (P<0.05) after one month exercise by the exercise group. After one month of exercise, there were significant reduction between the before-exercise and after-exercise values of day 3 and day 21 levels of Zinc , Copper and Iron in the exercise group (P<0.05).Also there were significant reduction in after-exercise levels of these minerals between the two groups (P<0.05).The hormonal pattern shows that moderate-to-vigorous exercise may increase the responsiveness and sensitivity of the follicle to FSH and LH with attendant ovulation which may not negatively affect ovarian reserve but may improve ovulatory status thereby enhancing fertility in young females. Moderate-to-vigorous exercise also causes changes in some minerals with significant reduction in serum iron, copper and zinc which may negatively affect fertility.
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