Friday, February 13, 2009

heartrate, shmartrate?

Well, it looks like soccer and my second job may be joining caffeine, alcohol, and sushi on the banned list. Even before I started working last night, my HR from walking around and talking escalated to 120 BPM. I wore the monitor while I worked and found it beeping at me several times, when my HR exceeded 143 (10% above the target rate). I quickly lowered it by walking and taking deep breaths and generally trying to will myself relaxed and calm, so I swear it wasn't over 130 for more than 8 minutes out of the whole hour. But I know for certain now that when I play soccer my HR is way over 130.

I played soccer last Monday, at 4DPIUI. I tried to take it easy, but now that I'm a little more familiar with my heart rate I know it was well over 130, and it likely stayed there for at least 25 minutes or so during the course of the game. Damn.

I visited Dr. Google, but didn't find any information. All I did find was the effect of maternal health and habits on fetal heart rate. Not what I needed. From experience, I know women can become pregnant and continue to be pregnant while participating in a soccer league. My mother played when she was pregnant with my youngest 3 siblings. Countless teammates have resigned at the end of a season, explaining "surprise, I'm pregnant" and that they didn't want to play into their second trimester. I've heard from teammates that they were given the go-ahead by their doctors to continue playing as long as they felt comfortable doing so (weight and balance-wise). The concern always seemed to focus on protecting the fetus from being struck- elbow, ball, foot- all could potentially cause harm, but apparently a 1st-trimester fetus is well protected and not in danger from the usual soccer blows. I never heard anyone mention maternal heart rate.
Until nurse #3 at the RE's office mentioned in passing that during the whole process of TTC, I should never allow my HR to exceed 130BPM. She didn't know there was a way around the "partner MUST drop off sperm" rule. Should I believe her about the HR advice? It's hard to know whom to trust. I guess "better safe than sorry," but I don't want to give up my #1 hobby unnecessarily. I need a second, and possibly a third, opinion.

Has anyone else be advised to keep their heart rate below some threshold while TTC?


Nic said...

I havent heard of tat before but now you have me wondering as I am running a lot at the moment. I shall try to find out

Megan said...

I've heard about keeping it down at certain points during an IVF cycle. I'd ask your doctor.

Maredsous said...

For some reason, my clinic doesn't want me doing any strenuous activity. I am a runner and they told me not to run for the two weeks after the IUI. I have read many protocols and this appears to be a bit unusual.
During my IVF cycle, they told me not to run later in the stimulation because they did not want anything to happen to the follicle laden ovaries. Oh, if only that were the problem. I agree you should ask the Dr. But I would argue that there is nothing special about 130bpm heart rate.

Maredsous said...

Department of Biology, University of Oslo, Norway.

OBJECTIVE: The effects of high- and medium-intensity exercise on the fetus and on the onset and length of labor, birth weight, and Apgar score were studied in healthy athletes who performed a high level of exercise before conception. STUDY DESIGN: Forty-two women were recruited to the study by newspaper ads and through acquaintances. They elected to follow either a high- or a medium-intensity exercise program throughout pregnancy until 6 weeks after delivery. Documentation of their intensity of activity before conception (retrospectively), during pregnancy, and after delivery was obtained. RESULTS: There were no differences between the high- and medium-intensity exercise group in duration of labor, birth weight, or 1- and 5-minute Apgar scores. The higher level of exercise correlated with a significantly greater maternal weight gain during pregnancy and significantly earlier onset of labor for those women who gave birth to girls but not for those who gave birth to boys. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that healthy and well-conditioned women may take part in exercise during pregnancy without compromising fetal growth and development as judged by birth weight or complicating the course of pregnancy or labor.