(HealthDay News) — Physical resistance training is associated with significant improvement in sexual function among women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), according to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Changes in the female biotype that characterize PCOS, such as hirsutism, acne, alopecia and obesity, are often a cause of depression, poor self-image and may compromise sexual function women. Physical resistance training has been shown to improve some of these parameters, but its effects have not been studied in women with PCOS specifically, researchers wrote in the study.

Lúcia Alves Silva Lara, MD, PhD, from the Ribeirão Preto Medical School at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, and colleagues examined sexual function and emotional status in women with PCOS after physical resistance training

Data were included from 43 women with PCOS and 51 control ovulatory women, aged 18 to 37 years, all of whom underwent a supervised physical resistance training protocol for 16 weeks.

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Of the women with PCOS, 69.70% had Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) scores of 26.55 or lower at baseline. After physical resistance training, 58.54% of the group had scores of 26.55 or lower (P=.08), according to the researchers.

For women in the control group, 62.7% had FSFI scores lower than 26.55 at baseline, 52.9% had scores lower than 26.55 after physical resistance training (P=.06). 

Significant improvement was noted in the pain domain score in control women after physical resistance training (P<.03). Additionally, significant increases were seen in total score, and in the desire, excitement and lubrication domains after physical resistance training (all P<.01) in women with PCOS. 

After vs. before physical resistance training, significantly fewer women in the PCOS group were at risk for depression (P<.01) and anxiety (P<.02).

“[Physical resistance training] significantly enhanced total score and the desire, excitement, and lubrication domains of the FSFI in PCOS women,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Lara LAS et al. J Sex Med. 2015;doi:10.1111/jsm.12909.