The leading cause of female infertility is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a common hormone disorder in women. PCOS is also a precursor for other serious conditions, including type 2 diabetes.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Awareness Month in September is intended to help those affected overcome their symptoms, lower their risks of long-term complications and improve their lives.
Why it matters
As many as 5 million U.S. women of reproductive age are affected by PCOS, according to the Center for Disease Control. Women with PCOS are often insulin resistant, which increases their risk for type 2 diabetes.
- A 2016 South Carolina Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) report states that more than 360,000 adults in the state who are 18 years and older have prediabetes.
- Without lifestyle changes to improve their health, 15 to 30 percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years.
- Lifestyle can have a big impact on insulin resistance. Women can better manage PCOS by making healthy changes such as losing weight if overweight and increasing physical activity.
Dr. Pamela Wright, Assistant Professor, studies how exercise motivation affects the health of women with PCOS, including benefits, barriers and outcome expectations.
"Preliminary research revealed that resistance exercise with bands led to improved muscular endurance and reduced waist sizes among women with PCOS. Future research will extend the intervention to consider additional outcomes such as hypertension, insulin resistance and depressive symptoms," says Wright.