Exercise for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common hormonal disorder affecting up to 18% of reproductive aged women.

PCOS is closely linked with anovulatory infertility, increased insulin resistance, obesity, increased blood pressure and lipid profiles, depression and low self esteem, which can significantly impact one’s quality of life.

Lifestyle changes, including that of regular exercise is highly recommended for the management of PCOS and its associated symptoms. Exercise has been shown to have significant benefits on reproductive, body composition and biochemical health outcomes, including lowering insulin resistance and improving reproductive features of the condition.

The Australian guidelines for management of PCOS recommend at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, and it is important for participants to do exercise that they enjoy, to enhance adherence and long term exercise habits. Cardiovascular exercise for 30 minutes daily is highly encouraged as it can improve sensitivity to insulin, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and enhance ovulation. Cardiovascular exercise is also frequently encouraged when doing IVF as it can boost reproductive success.

Strength or interval based resistance training is also another great exercise option for PCOS, as it can help to with weight loss and reducing abdominal circumferences. Metabolic health outcomes including weight loss have been shown to reduce PCOS symptoms, including lowering testosterone levels and improving insulin resistance.

If you’re keen to improve your health or are seeking additional advice to ensure you are exercising right for PCOS, contact our clinic to make a booking with our Exercise Physiologist and Physiotherapist Nicole for a tailored exercise program.