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Exercising with Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a gynecological condition that impacts approximately 1 in 10 Australian women/girls. Unluckily, with every menstrual cycle that is had, scar tissue and adhesions form through the correlated hormone release. This results in symptoms such as abdominal pain, pelvic pain, inflammation, bloating and cramping. Endometriosis is also linked with bladder, bowel and sexual dysfunction.


How does exercise help?

Exercise provides a wide range of benefits for individuals suffering with this condition including:

  • Reduced inflammation in the body
  • Reduced oestrogen levels
  • Improved emotional wellbeing
  • Weight management 
  • Increased energy levels and self-confidence
  • Relaxed nervous system
  • Improvements in muscular strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness
  • Improvements in sleep quality

What kind of exercise should I do if I have endometriosis?

Evidence suggests that starting with gentle aerobic exercise such as walking is an important place to start as there is a decreased risk of pain flare ups. Another exercise recommendation is yoga as it incorporates deep breathing and gentle movements to help relax the body and calm the nervous system.


An Accredited Exercise Physiologist will prescribe a progressive strengthening program that focuses on the lower back and pelvic area as deconditioning is very common with this condition.


The main things in order to achieve and maintain health for individuals with endometriosis include:

  • 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise OR 75 minutes of vigorous exercise OR a mixture of both
  • Include 2 resistance training days each week on non-consecutive days
  • Pick an exercise that you enjoy

If exercise is causing you pain, discomfort or an increase in symptoms, seek advice from an accredited exercise physiologist.


References

Exercise Right. 2022. How Exercise can help manage an support Endometriosis. [online] Available at: <https://exerciseright.com.au/endometriosis/>