Effect of moderate - vigorous intensity physical exercise on female sex hormones in premenopausal university students in Nnewi, Nigeria

Chidiadi M. Atuegbu, Samuel C. Meludu, Chudi E. Dioka, Charles C. Onyenekwe, Jude A. Onuegbu, Christian E. Onah, Onyema A. Onyegbule, Adanma R. Analike, John N. Udo


Background: Sedentary lifestyle and diseases associated with it is on the increase in our communities, state and country as a whole. The objective was to determine the effect of exercise on ovarian reserve status of the participants using day 3 FSH, LH and estrogen values and the ovulatory status of the participants using day 21 progesterone values.

Methods: The study was a prospective comparative study. A total of 30 participants were recruited for this work. They were divided into 2 groups: 15 subjects that did exercise for 1 month and 15 controls that didn’t do any form of exercise. Baseline blood samples were collected from the two groups on day 3 and day 21 of the menstrual cycle. The subjects started exercise on day 1 of the next menstrual cycle. Blood samples were collected from the subjects and control on day 3 and day 21 of the next menstrual cycle.

Results:There was significant reduction in weight and therefore BMI of the study group compared to control group and study group baseline after one month of exercise (P<0.05). There were no significant differences in the baseline levels of Estrogen, FSH, LH and progesterone between the subjects and control groups before the exercise, but after 1 month of exercise, there were significant differences in the levels of estrogen, FSH, LH and progesterone in these groups (P<0.01). Among the study group there were significant differences in the baseline and final levels of Estrogen, FSH, LH and Progesterone (P<0.01).

Conclusions: The hormonal pattern shows that moderate-vigorous exercise may increase the responsiveness and sensitivity of the follicles to FSH and LH with attendant increase in ovulatory status of young females.



Exercise, Female sex hormones, Premenopausal

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