Can I exercise with endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a complex and debilitating condition that affects anywhere between 2-10% of women of childbearing age.

Previously, we have covered topics regarding lifestyle changes and ways to help alleviate the pain associated with endometriosis, especially positive changes. Although exercise is not a cure for endometriosis, studies have found that in addition to helping boost your mood, it can also help relieve any pain or discomfort brought on by the disease.

We know that your brain produces endorphins when you exercise, which in turn boosts your mood and has been an effective way to help people suffering from depression.

Research published in the journal of Biology of Reproduction has shown that there is a direct link between endometriosis and mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, therefore women suffering from the disease should be encouraged to maintain an active lifestyle.

There are other benefits other than a mood booster: regular exercise has also been shown to be directly associated with a reduction of inflammation and pain, a way to help improve mobility and improve brain-fog and fatigue in patients with endometriosis.

While many women may find it hard to exercise, especially if they are experiencing severe pain and discomfort, it’s important to remember to pace yourself. Setting yourself realistic goals will make it easier for you to achieve them and adjusting the exercise intensity to suit your needs and abilities is important.

There may be some days during your cycle where it may be more comfortable to exercise than others, some days you may need to select a lower, calmer intensity.

The important point to take away from this current research, is that that prolonged rest is not helpful when it comes to pain that is persistent, but regular activity may help reduce the pain, inflammation and discomfort associated with endometriosis.

Author

Nic Stark

Nic Stark is Fertility First's Senior Research Embryologist. She holds a Masters of Reproductive Health Sciences and Human Genetics, a Bachelor in Medical Science, and is completing her PhD in Medicine (Reproductive Physiology). She has been an embryologist for over 15 years.

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