Why You Should Consider Exercise To Ease PCOS Symptoms

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is when the ovaries produce more androgens or male sex hormones. Most women have low levels of androgens, but this level increases in individuals with PCOS.

While many females who develop PCOS have cysts on their ovaries, not all females with cysts on their ovaries have PCOS, and not all females diagnosed with PCOS have cysts. Instead, it's the hormonal imbalance of androgens that causes symptoms. However, when present in those with PCOS, cysts do make androgens, increasing the levels of this hormone.

Johns Hopkins Medicine explains some of the possible risk factors of PCOS. Risk factors include insulin resistance and obesity. Obesity can increase insulin levels, which may result in higher levels of androgens due to the effects of insulin on the cells that produce androgens.

Many of the adverse side effects of PCOS are related to the hormonal imbalances that this condition can cause.

The Effect Exercise Has on Hormones in PCOS

According to the Office on Women's Health, exercise is one intervention you can perform at home to reduce symptoms of PCOS. The Office on Women's Health notes that regular exercise can lead to a healthier weight. Losing weight can lead to lower blood sugar levels, which can help your body respond properly to insulin. Remember that insulin resistance can lead to higher androgen levels, which are responsible for many of the adverse side effects of PCOS. So keeping insulin levels in check can help prevent excess androgen production.

Furthermore, one of the side effects of PCOS is an irregular period due to the hormonal effects of the condition. A 10% loss of body weight can help regulate the menstrual cycle, according to the Office on Women's Health. Regularity in the menstrual cycle can improve an individual's quality of life for many reasons but may be particularly important for someone with PCOS hoping to become pregnant.

For people with certain health conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, it is essential to talk to your healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise regimen (per Mayo Clinic). However, if you are an individual living with PCOS and are seeking ways to improve your health through lifestyle adjustments, a regular exercise routine may be a great way to help reduce symptoms of PCOS.