29 Weeks + Does Running Affect our Fertility?

Last week in the 20s!

*We have our babymoon this weekend!  For approximately 45 hours we will be kid free and I’m going to do my best to stay up past 8:30 pm even;)  On our schedule—> lots of food, lots of relaxing and temperatures in the 70s!

*I had my 28 week appointment (and now we have an appointment every two weeks ahhhh) and my doctor told me I am measuring right on.  He also said I am gaining the ‘perfect’ amount of weight whatever that means exactly but I’m happy that without even knowing where I’m at on the scale, I’m gaining the weight needed!

*Yep, definitely did NOT enjoy the drink this time… I had a really hard time drinking this.  My results came back and I passed so that is good but that drink is torture:)

IMG 6638

*Our baby’s most active times of day:  Every time I am trying to fall asleep, rest or relax.

*We chose our baby’s name months ago and we had a middle name picked out too but I changed my mind.  So, we are on the hunt for a new middle name.

*The other night I was complaining to Andrew (sorry Andrew) about how pregnancy feels like it lasts an eternity.  So then he decided to look up how long different animals are pregnant for to help me feel better about our pregnancies….  Elephants carry their babies for almost TWO YEARS, white rhinos are pregnant for 15-16 months and camels are pregnant for 14 months.  It made me feel better about these 266 days;)

*The baby gets more kisses than I do from the kids already:)

IMG 6610

*I loved this little tip at the end… ‘and after your baby is born, she’ll know you by your familiar scent.’  This whole thing is quite amazing.

IMG 6627

*This is random and it probably has nothing to do with pregnancy but I thought I would ask… anyone else get leg cramps in the middle of the night while pregnant?  I have NEVER had leg cramps in my life but I have had a few in the last few weeks that have waken me up and hurt like crazy for about a minute.

*Chocolate covered raisins are still a happy part of my day… Thank you Brooke for bringing them to me in bed at night.  She loves the smell of them ha!

IMG 6225

*I had two big cravings this last week.  One was for a chicken wrap from BYU and the other was for Asphalt Pie from Wingers.  This tasted amazing!  Once I had it I haven’t wanted it again but it was sure good!  I’m also loving milk right now (especially in the form of hot chocolate), fruit, spaghetti (glad that one is back) and sandwiches.

IMG 6695

*I think this about sums up pregnancy for me.

IMG 6698

*I think my running is actually feeling the best it has since I got pregnant.  I remember feeling like this with Brooke too.  Overall I am feeling my best which is why running is too but it makes me very glad that I stuck with running through the really hard parts so that I could enjoy 3rd trimester running.  43 miles last week!  Fastest mile lately= 7:48 and the rest are usually in the 9:20s!

*My sense of smell is still quite amazing… I can smell which Jelly Belly flavor that Andrew is eating if he is in the same room as me:)  He is always impressed by this new skill of mine.

———————————————————————————-

I have received a few questions about this topic so I thought I would share my experience and I would love to hear yours too!  People have emailed wondering if I scaled back my mileage or intensity in my training when I was trying to get pregnant.  Andrew and I decided that we wanted to start trying to have a baby last Christmas.  We decided to get the IUD out after our Hawaii trip (I was not wanting to have morning sickness while there:) in January and then the next appointment I could get was in February.  I was training for a half marathon after I had my IUD out and while it wasn’t my hardest training cycle ever, I was still putting in plenty of hard workouts of mile repeats, tempos, yassos and running 50ish miles a week.  I wasn’t super worried about training ‘hard’ affecting my chances of getting pregnant but I did ask a few of my friends that train really hard and have kids how it affected them… all of them said the same thing, they were able to get pregnant while training hard.  I knew that once I was pregnant, I would naturally (and boy did I) want/need to back off my pace and intensity but decided to keep training ‘hard’ until then!

For me personally, I think my body is used to running like I am training for something (i.e. speed 1-2 times a week and 50 mpw) so I don’t think training hard was (or will be in the future) a factor for me.  BUT I think the biggest thing for me with running and being able to get pregnant is all about taking care of myself properly while training hard.  Eating enough calories each day, keeping my body fat in a good place, resting enough and hydrating/refueling like a champ.  Without those things, yes I think training hard would obviously affect my chances of getting pregnant.  PS remember I have no formal education in this area… just sharing what my experience is!  There are so many different issues that affect our fertility (I sure wish this wasn’t the case) and when we can get pregnant but for me personally, if my body was in a good place (aka not struggling with amenorrhea like it used to) then I was able to continue to train hard and get pregnant.  We are all so different but this is how it worked for me.

———————————————————————————-

Pregnant readers… how is your sleeping going at night?  Anyone else have leg cramps?  Anyone else up at 3 AM!?  We should all Skype or something in the middle of the night.

What about you… did running/training hard affect your fertility?

How did the glucose test go for you?

You May Also Like

69 comments

Reply

Hey Janae!! You look so cute and happy! Congrats on that 3rd trimester milestone!

I mentioned my leg cramps to my dr when I was pregnant with Darcy and my dr put me on magnesium. It really helped me! Good luck! ?

Reply

Thank you Nancy for letting me know about magnesium and how much it helped you! THANK YOU and I hope you have a great day!

Reply

I second the magnesium! I haven’t been pregnant, but I’ve struggled with leg cramps and magnesium helps a lot!

Reply

Hey Janae! I just wanted to pop in and say I was one of those people that emailed you about training hard while trying to conceive :) I think it was back in July? But you gave me this same advice, so I kept on training hard! Well– I got pregnant in August!!! Just wanted to let you know that your advice meant a lot to me. (Putting this as anonymous because my friends read this blog, and I’m still a week or so away from sharing my news :))

Reply

AHHHH It is so good to hear from you again! CONGRATS girl and I’m so excited for you to start sharing your news!

Reply

Interesting topic! I tend to agree that healthy running shouldn’t make someone infertile. I’m currently pregnant with my third and I struggled a little bit at first because of some changes I was going through with my first night shift job. I firmly believe sticking to running/strength training/eating enough (and prayers) was what relieved those stress related issues and allowed me to get pregnant. Just my thoughts though!

Reply

oh my gosh, I forgot all about the charlie horses I’d get at night!! It is pregnancy related. My brother (He’s a D.O.) told me to try drinking more milk because calcium seems to help with them. It seemed to help me. So hopefully that will help you. (assuming your leg cramps are charlie horses, of course)

I think the way running effects your fertility is going to depend on the person. My sister was very active and she had a hard time getting pregnant, but I am also very active and I’m fertile Mertyle.

Reply

Yes to the leg cramps!! I am 33 wks and they probably started around 28 weeks. I have been eating half a banana before I go to bed and that seems to keep them away :) and that dang glucose test!! I failed the one hour and had to take the 3 hour one- that was definitely no fun!

Reply

Hi! I love your blog and just wanted to comment REALLY quick that the title should be “affect” instead of “effect”. (no need to post this comment – just hoping to help really quick)

Reply

Thank you soooooo much!!!! I hope you are having an amazing day!

Reply

It’s also in the text of the post a bunch of times, FYI

Reply

THANK YOU!! I fixed the title and then didn’t even think about the post… thanks Jennifer!

Reply

Tomato, tomatoe! Do you not have anything else better to do than to correct grammar on Janae’s blog

Reply

Running and training hard did not effect me, low body fat did. Changed that I could actually train harder and get preggo.

Reply

That pie!!!! SCRUMPTIOUS!! That drink, however? Repulsive! I last had one 27 years ago and I can still recall how nasty it was.

I know this is SO weird, but I have a feeling I know what you are naming the baby! I am probably completely wrong, but I am so eager for you to have your new little blessing, in part so I can learn if I’m right or not!

Reply

Hi Janae! Love your blog; we’ve been trying to get pregnant with number 2 for six months, no luck yet, and I’ve started to wonder about the training thing even though I was working hard and fell easily with number one. Appreciate your fertility comments on the post; it’s been kind of bittersweet following you on this journey while trying myself!

Random question though I always want to ask you. How do you plan for, achieve, strive for, nutrition for your kids? My son is 2, I do my best to provide healthful stuff, but I also love to share treats with him like I know you do as well with Brooke and Knox… how do you feel like it’s going, the healthy eating thing? Do you feel like it’s more about modeling at this age and don’t stress about their actual intake? Just generally curious… I am an eating disorder sufferer too – in recovery now! – and I know how valuable it is to keep that healthy relationship with food… I think about this a lot!

Reply

I want to hear your thoughts on this kid nutrition question, too!

Reply

OMG – pregnant Charlie horses are the absolute worst! I was told to eat more bananas.

Did you drink the drink warm or cold? I was given the advice to make sure it was cold. I had to get to the lab and drink it there because the morning traffic there was too unpredictable. I made sure I brought it in a cooler bag because otherwise they gave you one there that was warm. Gross! Glad you passed – I had to do the 3 hour both times – torture! (Thankfully I passed both those).

Reply

Leg cramps while pregnant is definitely a thing! I used to wake up screaming and writhing in pain when I was pregnant with my daughter. It’s like a Charlie horse on steroids. I hope you get some relief! Magnesium, bananas, etc. might help!

Reply

So excited for you guys! We are expecting our first in about 2 weeks and I have been able to maintain running about 50 mpw. I was training for Boston when I found out I was pregnant – about 60 mpw at that time. My body was used to the level of activity for years so we didn’t have major issues conceiving. I get Charlien Horses occasionally at night and they hurt! My calf will hurt for a solid day afterwards too! I read it is justpart of pregnancy!

Reply

I remember the leg cramps! Those are terrible because you have to get up walk them out but getting up isn’t as easy and you are so tired! I also would have hip pain, ugh.

Reply

I had major leg cramps with my first! It would always come in the middle of the night – hurt so bad! So far so good with this pregnancy (35 weeks). The glucola test was fine for me – I actually kind of enjoyed the drink both times!

Reply

I would get legs cramps in my calves so bad when I was pregnant, they would wake me up at night and I would have to jump out of bed to straighten my leg out! Hopefully yours aren’t that bad. I had to take the glucose test 3 times. I did the 1 hour one twice because it was borderline and then had to do the 3 hour test which was horrible, but I ended up with normal results on that one. And the lab only had fruit punch flavored drink which was so gross. So fun to follow along with your pregnancy, you all have a beautiful family!

Reply

I related to this post so much!!! When I complained about how loooong pregnancy felt, my husband felt it was the ideal time to give me “fun facts” like how long an elephant was pregnant, or a whale was pregnant, etc. (I was not thrilled.) I also never got leg cramps at night until I was pregnant. Honestly, I tried everything and I still got them, but it might’ve been because I’m a teacher and was on my feet all day, so hopefully something works for you!

Reply

Definitely echoing the recommendation for magnesium for the leg cramps. It also helps with insomnia, which is why my midwife suggested it to me during my second and third pregnancies. Natural Calm was the brand I believe?

Reply

THANK YOU SO MUCH ABBY for the tip… I can’t wait to try it (for the cramps and insomnia…hallelujah)! Have a great day!

Reply

Yep, it’s almost 3 am here and I’m wide awake which is why I’m reading this ! Yes I had terrible leg cramp/Charlie horses with my first pregnancy which I had never experienced before. I’m pregnant again right now in second trimester and haven’t had any yet. Praying they dont come back because they were the worst! If you find a remedy let me know – hang in there !

Reply

Oh I was up at 4 this morning hahaha and yet I’ll want to sleep all afternoon:) Good to know I’m not alone with the leg cramps! CONGRATS on baby number 2 Emily!

Reply

I have the same middle name as my Mom so when I had our first daughter we gave her the same middle name. When we knew were were having another girl I didn’t want her to fell left out so we did the same with her also. As the kids get older they love that they have the same middle name as their Grammy (and me). I guess my point to this is I love middle names that have some type of family connection. As far as cramps, bananas and water and more water. I love following your journey and look forward to your weekly posts.

Reply

Oh I love that Lexa!! That is so great:) Thank you so much and time to look into some family names for the middle name!

Reply

I’ll chime in with the others that leg cramps are definitely pregnancy related. I had them with my first and they are starting up with the second now. I bought the product below, a natural calcium magnesium supplement (both mentioned by some previous commenters), and try to drink a glass of this mixture before bed and I think it helps!
https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Vitality-Magnesium-Organic-Raspberry/dp/B000OQ2DJQ?th=1

Reply

THANK YOU SARA for sharing!! I will totally check this supplement out (I don’t want any more of these leg cramps)!! THANK YOU!

Reply

I HAVE to weigh in on the leg cramps because this still traumatizes me lol!! I had our baby boy 6 weeks ago and in the third trimester the leg cramps were out of control. I had had those type of painful leg cramps maybe a handful of times in my life before my pregnancy, but while pregnant I got them once a week or so. Most of the time, I was able to stretch them out and go back to sleep, but one time in particular I woke up screaming I was in so much pain – my leg totally seized up. My husband had to massage it out before it relaxed and it hurt like I’d had a muscle injury for the next few days! Not fun!

You look great Janae, and I sure hope you don’t experience too many more of those nasty leg cramps! :)

Reply

Thank you for sharing Brittany! Your leg cramps sound crazy bad, I am so sorry you had to deal with that! Yes, one day I felt like my calf was injured all day because of the cramps. So weird! Congrats on your little boy!!!

Reply

YES to leg cramps! Never had them until I was pregnant and ended up sleeping in my compression socks!!

Reply

Oh great idea on the compression socks. I totally need to try that, thank you so much Marley! Enjoy your Thursday!

Reply

I didn’t get leg cramps with my first two kids but I sure did with third! Way worse than mile 23 of a marathon.
My struggles with infertility were completely independent of my training efforts/schedules. In general, as long as your menstrual cycle and weight are good, training hard shouldn’t cause problems.
I hate, hate, hated the glucose tests but I passed all of them. I naturally have pretty low blood sugar (too low sometimes) so it would be a bit hard for me to fail unless things were really wrong.

Reply

YES, I agree… way worse than marathon cramping for me too! Very interesting that it was the worst with your third! Totally agree with you about what you said about your cycle/weight being good = training shouldn’t cause a problem. I hope you are having a great day!

Reply

I had AWFUL leg cramps while pregnant. I mean… screaming out in pain. It was AWFUL!

I added bananas to my diet (had one in my smoothie every morning) and it helped but they were terrible! I also would cut one up and have with ice cream for dinner.

I feel ya on that one!

Reply

SCREAMING OUT IN PAIN… yeah, that is awful! Thank you for the tip… time to add in bananas! Thank you so much and I hope you are having a beautiful day!

Reply

You are doing amazing! I have never had a baby and I hear it is not to be likened to running a marathon. BUT sometimes reading your pregnancy posts I feel like the symptoms of pregnancy and marathon training can have some over lap lol! Can’t stay awake, emotional mood swings, can’t have alcohol, have to be careful about what foods you eat, can’t be on your feet very long. Haha!!

Reply

HAHAH YES YES YES Jennifer… they are totally the same! Thank you for sharing… I’ll definitely have to write a post about this too! I hope your day is an amazing one!

Reply

Ahhh the pregnancy leg cramps!! The worst. I got charley horses in my calves and feet all the time at night. I definitely don’t miss those!! But you could mention it to your doc and he could get you a magnesium or potassium supplement or something. Anyway… way to go running throughout this pregnancy! Wishing and hoping the best for you during these last weeks!!

Reply

I’m not alone! THANK YOU Alysha so much! I hope you are having an amazing day!

Reply

For women without preexisting fertility issues, exercise (or lack of) and diet will only impact fertility if it causes her to veer into starvation mode or obesity. But unfortunately, most women that encounter fertility problems can’t be helped by anything other than high-tech reproductive medical intervention — iui, ivf, ICSI etc… The ability to conceive is also something that involves a male factor (obviously) so there’s a whole other discussion about male infertility that is part of the equation for many couples, and often isn’t affected at all by exercise or diet. We were finally able to get pregnant after 6 years of infertility treatments because we found the right clinic that had the right-for-me protocol. I’m now in my first trimester, and because it’s taken me so long to get to this point I’m avoiding high-impact exercises like running and focusing instead on strength training and stress-reducing slow cardio like walking, which also helps with morning sickness. Hopefully I’ll feel more confident in the second trimester and will be able to re-introduce running into my routine, but it definitely won’t be with the aim of training or stressing my system. I’m really glad you posted about this — it’s an important topic and something that’s on the minds of a lot of women who are trying to conceive or newly-pregnant.

Reply

Sara, thank you so much for sharing your experience and everything you know about this all! Thank you and I am so beyond happy for you and your husband. Congratulations. Please keep me updated with how you are doing and feeling! Congrats!! So happy that you were able to find the right treatment and clinic for you!

Reply

Sleeping at night is not good right now – I don’t remember it ever being this bad with my first pregnancy! I almost always wake up somewhere in the 3 to 4 a.m. range, too. How random. If we were in the same time zone, we could totally Skype. HA!

YES to cramps, too. They are painful. I’m going to take some tips from people in the comments for sure.

I’m just a few days behind you (due date: 12/16/17), so I had my glucose test a week or so ago. I don’t mind the drink at all, but it reminds of orange soda,and I like orange soda. :)

Reply

Glad you passed the test! I have had 3 friends fail it :( …and they also agreed, the drink is bad haha.

Reply

Love your blog!! I was so bummed that a running injury kept me from running for almost two years. All I did was walk and do yoga but in hindsight it was the best thing for me because I got pregnant very easily and now have a beautiful baby girl! I feel like not running helped me get pregnant because I was able to gain some weight and address some disordered eating issues. All injuries help us in some way, I suppose!!

Glad you passed your glucose test. I failed mine and had to do the three hour one, which was terrible :( You’re on the home stretch now! Love reading about your journey :)

Reply

This is purely anecdotal, but I was training back-to-back marathons when we decided to try for our first, after having been on low-estrogen birth control for 8 years. I noticed my cycles were getting longer and longer and some months skip all together (I had two or three months I’d skip for 45+ days). I don’t know that I can entirely attribute it to exercise, but it took 10 months to conceive and the month after I ran my last marathon, it happened! I didn’t struggle with “fertility” in the clinical sense but I do think for me it did impact my cycle, asking my body to do so much.

Reply

Try Gatorade for the leg cramps. I had them, they were terrible!!! I didn’t even want to go to sleep because of the trauma of them lol! Gatorade helped.

Reply

Janae! I did Calcium and Magnesium for leg/hip cramps. I’ve got a short torso, so little man was pretty cramped in my uterus and I ended up having bad back labor too.

We struggled for 7.5 years, and running was my go to for the stress of infertility. It helped get my mind off of what my body was not able to achieve. I trained and ran my first marathon (2015) while undergoing 3 rounds of IUI’s. The week after my marathon I got an email from another infertility sister and she said now that I’m done with my marathon I should step back and focus on getting pregnant and stop running. My infertility diagnosis was low ovarian reserve, poor egg quality, and endometriosis. All of which are not affected by the amount I was running. It was really hurtful that someone would tell me to stop running completely. I think you need to go off of how your body feels. Yes, if you are struggling to get pregnant and running a ton of miles each week, you should take a step back and not run so much or as hard. BUT you need to listen to your body. I’m prone to injury and training for my marathon, I never once got up to 50 miles in a week and barely hit 50 miles one month. I was doing it to finish, not doing it for time. I think it all just depends, if you are that concerned about your training you should talk to your doctor.

I had the lemon-lime (tastes like a flat sprite) for the first test and I failed and had to do the 3 hour! Which was horrible! BUT I passed!

Reply

I haven’t read all the comments so everyone has probably goven you this advice already but just in case, magnesium makes the world of difference for leg cramps while pregnant. Also if you take it about 30 minutes before you go to bed it really really helps you go off to sleep quickly. It also stops restless leg syndrome. It saved my life in both my pregnancies helping me with insomnia which is never an issue for me when I’m not pregnant. All the best to you!

Reply

I definitely got leg cramps while pregnant. Drinking more water helped me.

Reply

I love when you talk about running & fertility because I think it’s not discussed enough. I spent years underweight/low body fat/over exercising and lost my period for a long time (didn’t know it b/c I was on the pill the whole time). When my husband & I tried to get pregnant, I gained weight and lowered my mileage, but never got my period back. My body will no longer produce estrogen, etc. and apparently this is common. Such a scary reality that we don’t talk about. It’s not always a matter of putting on weight and everything will be okay again. If women are dealing with this, they should focus on their health NOW!

Reply

Just looking at those bottles of the orange drink for the glucose test makes me nauseous! Luckily, I did a “food glucose test” and just ate a breakfast prescribed by my midwife and then took the blood test at my appointment. Not too bad!

Reply

Another person who got leg cramps during sleep while pregnant! I also used to wake up every night at 2am. I would go watch TV (old original episodes of Iron Chef- the one translated from Japan) until 3am when I would be able to fall asleep in bed again. Every.single.night. I would usually eat a bowl of cereal during the time also ;)

Reply

Hi Janae, long time reader! I know doctors ask if you want a flu shot and tdap, I hope you will do research on these as they have not been tested on pregnant women and the effects are not known. It actually says so on the insert that comes in the flu shot box (not the cdc handout) there are many many stories online of still births occurring days after receiving the shots.

Reply

Unsure if this has been mentioned but magnesium for muscle cramps!

Reply

Thanks for talking about this! It’s my first time commenting, but I’m 33 weeks and struggled with infertility. Mine was due to hypothalamic amenorrhea, which was caused by excessive exercise and restrictive eating. It was hard to admit that was the issue, but the blood work and the symptoms don’t lie! You hit the nail on the head when you said the training won’t effect you as long as you’re nourishing your body enough, which I know I wasn’t doing! After seeing a nutritionist and a fertility doctor, we were able to get pregnant on our first IUI. We are beyond lucky and happy, but I also learned a lot and am making sure I’m fueling myself enough for both myself and especially for my baby. This is such an important topic, thabjs for talking about it!

Also, the leg cramps are definitely a pregnant thing! I get them too! Bananas help :)

Reply

One of my best friends gave birth on Monday and another is due mid October. Watching those two becoming moms and following your pregnancy has given me crazy baby fever! We are waiting to start trying until after a wedding I am in next August in London. I don’t want to be pregnant and unable to be there for my bestie! That being said, BABY ON THE BRAIN.

My GF who just gave birth was super lean (runner) and needed to put on weight before she was able to conceive. I think your period is a good indicator of your reproductive health!

Reply

43 miles while pregnant?! I am not pregnant and am barely getting 25 in right now…………..way to go!

Reply

Gahhh yes on the leg cramps! I can’t eat bananas but found that just a little bit of orange juice would make the cramps go away almost immediately. Glad your test went well!

Reply

I cut down on my training significantly to get pregnant, but that was mostly because it took us so long. I do have a past history of amenorrhea, but when we started trying to get pregnant, I had regular periods for a few years. We went through numerous infertility treatments and surgeries (unrelated to amenorrhea), so I thought that training hard would have been pointless — why run 50 miles one week only to have to cut down the following due to a surgery or IUI/IVF treatment? I also couldn’t really put big races on my schedule because of it all. So, I simply ran for fun and to feel good.
I’m now 34 weeks, and just stopped running last week. I’m terrified of tripping and falling, and once again have the mentality of “why bother?” I have no race on the horizon, and will have to take at least 6 weeks off after the baby is born anyway. So, I walk and lift light weights to keep myself active and healthy, and spend the time I would have spent running simply enjoying the experience of being pregnant :) Running will always be there for me, and I know I’ll get back at it eventually!
I’m actually sleeping well. I do NP school during the week (day schedule), and then work 12 hour night shifts on the weekends, so switching from normal sleeping to day sleeping is challenging, but that’s tough even when I’m not pregnant. I haven’t had leg cramps, luckily. And that Glucola drink tasted like melted Otter Pops to me. Not heavenly, but not too bad, I guess.
You look fantastic, Janae!

Reply

Thanks for emphasizing that this was what worked for you personally. I thought the same thing – I’d been training hard for years, healthy BMI, perfect blood work – but I hadn’t had a period for some time. After a year of trying, with unsuccessful fertility drugs, I’ve now had to cut out running completely and I’m getting ready for IVF due to hypothalamic amenorrhea associated with excessive exercise (which really wasn’t all that excessive). Look at a runner like Tina Muir – every body is different and we have to listen to our own bodies instead of comparing ourselves.

Reply

I NEED THAT RIGHT NOW… THANK YOU CHRISTINA!

Reply

I remember my first Charlie horse ever was when I was pregnant. It was the middle of the night and I woke up screaming bc I had no idea what it was lol! My mom rushes in the room and gives me the death stare because she thought I was dying haha!

Reply

I had terrible leg cramps when I was pregnant the first time. Calcium and magnesium helped.

My now-husband was helping me train last summer for running a marathon when I turned 40. He suggested I put in a little extra body fat and I did get faster. Then I got pregnant. I definitely think that’s what caused it. Well, you know what I mean ;)

Leave a Reply to Loribeth Cancel Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *