Expert goes national for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

A Victoria University researcher has left the lab to brave a national TV audience in the name of helping women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition affecting one-in-six Australian women (and one-in-five Indigenous women) with significant reproductive, metabolic and psychological complications.

Senior Lecturer in Exercise Physiology Dr Nigel Stepto spoke as one of four experts on the educational program, which was broadcast nation-wide and to remote communities on March 27 by the Rural Health Education Foundation. It was also webcast.

Dr Stepto was part of the team who developed the latest evidence-based guidelines around PCOS patient care. His contribution was on the psychosocial and physical health benefits of exercise in lifestyle change for women with the condition.

"The panel was a fantastic forum to move 'bench-top research' into clinical practice," Dr Stepto said. "I believe that even a small engagement by consumers and medical and allied health professions will lead to a significant health benefits for women with PCOS and a reduction of healthcare costs in Australia."   

He said it had been nerve-wracking and exciting to appear on national TV for his first time, but that his work on PCOS was far from over.

Dr Stepto will now lead a collaborative research team including Institute of Sport, Exercise & Active Living colleagues Dr Lauren Banting, Dr Christopher Shaw and Professor Remco Polman as well as researchers from Monash University, University of Adelaide and University of South Australia in further research on the psychosocial and physical health benefits of high intensity exercise in women with PCOS.          

The panel was funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and Jean Hailes for Women's Health.

Resources on managing PCOS including the Evidence Based Guidelines can be found here.

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