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PCOS, 5 ways of cutting down the risk by making basic lifestyle changes

A well balanced diet, exercising regularly and reducing your stress levels can go a long way in reducing the risk of PCOS.

health Updated: Aug 10, 2018 12:00 IST
Kabir Bhandari
Kabir Bhandari
Hindustan Times, Delhi
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Regular yoga and reducing excess weight are some of the ways of reducing your risk of PCOS. (Shutterstock)

Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is a condition that affects about 10% of women in India. Unhealthy eating habits, obesity and a stressful lifestyle are some of the major contributing factors to this condition.

PCOS is also associated with insulin resistance, fertility problems, and irregular periods as well as long-term health risks such as diabetes, heart ailments and hypertension.

However, you can prevent the risk of acquiring this condition by bringing some simple changes to your way of life.


It is important to eat a healthy and balanced diet. Plan your meals in advance so that you can incorporate all nutrient components into it.

“Including a variety of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, oil-rich fish and lean meat is beneficial. Eat at regular intervals before you get too hungry to avoid overeating. Limit your intake of processed foods, and sugary and starchy items,” says Mumbai-based Dr Hrishikesh D Pai, medical director of Bloom IVF.


Physical activity not only helps you keep fit but is also an excellent way of reducing stress. Remember to include some moderately intense physical activity into your daily schedule to maintain a healthy weight.


This is one of the major risk factors for PCOS. Under stress, the body releases an excess of male hormones.

“High testosterone levels can lead to insulin resistance, eventually causing Type-2 diabetes. Therefore, stress management is essential for keeping PCOS under check. Get adequate sleep, and practice meditation and other relaxation techniques to bring down your stress levels,” explains Dr Pai.


Yoga coupled with various breathing techniques is a great way to deal with stress and put your body into detox mode.

“There are some specific yogasanas, which benefit the pelvic area by improving blood circulation and flexibility. Meditation and pranayama help in calming the mind by alleviating negativity and depression,” says Dr Nandita Palshetkar of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India.


Even a little weight loss of about 0.5–1 kg can help improve PCOS-related symptoms. It will help in regularising periods and improve your chances of conception.

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First Published: Aug 10, 2018 08:59 IST