Effects of a holistic yoga program on endocrine parameters in adolescents with polycystic ovarian syndrome: a randomized controlled trial

J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Feb;19(2):153-60. doi: 10.1089/acm.2011.0868. Epub 2012 Jul 18.


Objectives: The objectives of this trial were to compare the effects of a holistic yoga program with the conventional exercise program in adolescent polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Design: This was a prospective, randomized, active controlled trial.

Setting: Ninety (90) adolescent (15-18 years) girls from a residential college in Andhra Pradesh who satisfied the Rotterdam criteria were randomized into two groups.

Intervention: The yoga group practiced a holistic yoga module, while the control group practiced a matching set of physical exercises (1 hour/day, for 12 weeks).

Outcome measures: Anti-müllerian hormone (AMH-primary outcome), luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone, prolactin, body-mass index (BMI), hirsutism, and menstrual frequency were measured at inclusion and after 12 weeks.

Results: Mann-Whitney test on difference score shows that changes in AMH (Y=-2.51, C=-0.49, p=0.006), LH, and LH/FSH ratio (LH: Y=-4.09, C=3.00, p=0.005; LH/FSH: Y=-1.17, C=0.49, p=0.015) were significantly different between the two intervention groups. Also, changes in testosterone (Y=-6.01, C=2.61, p=0.014) and Modified Ferriman and Gallway (mFG) score (Y=-1.14, C=+0.06, p=0.002) were significantly different between the two groups. On the other hand, changes in FSH and prolactin postintervention were nonsignificantly different between the two groups. Also, body weight and BMI showed nonsignificantly different changes between the two groups, while changes in menstrual frequency were significantly different between the two groups (Y=0.89, C=0.49, p=0.049).

Conclusions: A holistic yoga program for 12 weeks is significantly better than physical exercise in reducing AMH, LH, and testosterone, mFG score for hirsutism, and improving menstrual frequency with nonsignificant changes in body weight, FSH, and prolactin in adolescent PCOS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone / blood
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Hirsutism / etiology
  • Hirsutism / therapy
  • Holistic Health*
  • Hormones / blood*
  • Humans
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Meditation*
  • Menstruation
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / therapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Yoga*


  • Hormones
  • Testosterone
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone