Physical Activity and Conception Study

What is the Physical Activity and Conception (PAC) Study?

PAC is a research study to learn about the relationship between a woman’s physical activity and her fertility.

This study will try to determine if different levels of physical activity increase or decrease a woman’s likelihood of becoming pregnant.

Additional Information





Who Can Join?

Women are eligible to participate if they:

    • Are between 18 and 29 years of age
    • Are cohabitating with a male partner
    • Have regular menstrual cycles
    • Are hoping to get pregnant and
      • Are about to start trying or
      • Have been trying for less than 3 months

Women are not eligible to participate if they:

    • Have a history of infertility or fertility treatment
    • If their partner has a history of infertility or fertility treatment
    • Cannot speak and read English
    • Are currently breastfeeding
    • Have used hormone shots for birth control in the past year
    • Have Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOS) or a history of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

What Study Activities Will I Complete as Part of PAC?

To participate in PAC, you will be asked to:

Screening Interview

The first part of the study is to determine if you can be in the study.  During this phone interview you will:

    • Be asked questions to see if you are eligible to participate
    • Receive information about study activities
    • Have the opportunity to ask questions about the study
    • This screening interview should take approximately 10-15 minutes.

Study Visit

Your study visit will be scheduled right before you begin your next  period.  At the study visit you will:

    Fertility Diary 

    While you are trying to get pregnant, we will ask you to keep a daily diary in which you will record bleeding, intercourse, medications, ovulation prediction test results, exercise, and pregnancy test results, while you are trying to get pregnant.  Each daily diary entry should take approximately 1 minute to complete. You will keep the fertility diary until you get pregnant or until you have been in the study for 6 months.

    Ovulation Prediction Tests

    We will provide you with up to 36 ovulation test strips while you are trying to conceive.  You will test for ovulation 6 days each month using the test strips.  The test strips test for luteinizing hormone (LH) in urine.  The LH surge is used to predict release of a mature oocyte (egg) within 24-48 hours.  We ask that you enter the results of each ovulation test in your fertility diary.You can find instructions on how to use the test strips here.

    Physical Activity Monitor 

    The physical activity monitor is an accelerometer.  The physical activity monitor is worn on your wrist using the elastic band provided.  All the measurements are stored within the monitor.  It does not give you any information about your physical activity.  You will wear the physical activity monitor for an entire menstrual cycle (from the beginning of one period to the beginning of your next period). You will then send the accelerometer back to us with your diary in an envelope we provide.  We will send back the accelerometer and you will wear the accelerometer for one week each month until you get pregnant or until you have been in the study for 6 months.  For further information on the physical activity monitor click here.

    wrist accelerometer




    Pregnancy Testing

    We provide you with up to 12 free pregnancy tests while you are trying to conceive. You should use your pregnancy tests only when you miss a period. We ask that you enter the results of each pregnancy test in your fertility diary. You can find instructions on how to use the pregnancy tests here.

    Pregnancy Ultrasound

    When you have a positive pregnancy test, we will schedule an ultrasound to evaluate the pregnancy. The ultrasound will be scheduled during the 7th week of pregnancy. You will be provided pictures, and at your request, a copy of the report can be sent to your doctor. The ultrasound visit will take about 20 minutes.

    What are the benefits of participating in PAC?

      • Up to 12 free pregnancy tests and 36 free ovulation predictor kits
      • Early pregnancy ultrasound pictures
      • $60-$170 in compensation (depending on the study activities you complete)
      • Satisfaction in knowing that you are contributing to our knowledge of women's health

    Are there any risks or costs involved with participating in PAC?

      • There are no known reproductive risks in this study.
      • Any procedures, like the ultrasound, have very low risks.
      • We take extreme care to prevent all risks.
      • All tests completed as part of this study are free.
      • We will pay for your parking during your study visit.  You will be responsible for paying for your parking (approximately $1.50) during our ultrasound visit.

    What are the Confidentiality Policies for PAC?:

    Information about all study participants will be treated in strict confidence to the extent provided by law. No personal identifiers (names, medical record numbers) will be placed on questionnaires or data. Participants will be assigned a study number for identification. No participants will be identified in any report or publication about this study.