Impact of Physical Resistance Training on the Sexual Function of Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

J Sex Med. 2015 Jul;12(7):1584-90. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12909. Epub 2015 May 18.


Introduction: There is a need for specific measures to address overall care in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Physical resistance training (PRT) has been shown to improve certain body parameters. However, the effect of PRT on the sexual function of PCOS women has not been evaluated.

Aim: The study aimed to assess sexual function and emotional status of PCOS women after 16 weeks of PRT.

Methods: This case-control study involved 43 women with PCOS and 51 control ovulatory women, aged 18-37 years. All women were subjected to a supervised PRT protocol for 16 weeks and evaluated at the end of the program. Sexual function was assessed at baseline and after PRT protocol.

Main outcome measures: The main outcome measure used was the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI).

Results: Of the 43 women with PCOS, 30 (69.70%) had a basal total FSFI score ≤ 26.55 and 24 of them (58.54%) had a score ≤ 26.55 after PRT (P = 0.08). Of the 51 control women, 32 (62.7%) and 27 (52.9%) had FSFI scores < 26.55 at baseline and after PRT, respectively (P = 0.06). Control women experienced a significant improvement in pain domain score after PRT (P < 0.03). PCOS women experienced significant increases in total score and in the desire, excitement and lubrication domains after PRT (P < 0.01 each). After PRT, there was a significant difference between the PCOS and control groups in the sexual desire domain (4.09 ± 1.29 vs. 3.75 ± 1.42, P = 0.04). Significantly fewer women in the PCOS group were at risk of depression (P < 0.01) and anxiety (P < 0.02) after than before PRT, whereas the differences in the control group were not significant. Mean depression and anxiety scores were reduced significantly in both the PCOS (P < 0.01 each) and control (P < 0.01) groups.

Conclusions: PRT significantly enhanced total score and the desire, excitement, and lubrication domains of the FSFI in PCOS women. PRT reduced pain, and total depression and anxiety scores in both groups.

Keywords: Physical Resistance Training; Polycystic Ovary Syndrome; Quality of Life; Sexuality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coitus / psychology*
  • Depression / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Libido
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Physical Examination
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / psychology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / therapy
  • Resistance Training*
  • Self Report
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / physiopathology*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / psychology
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / therapy