Regular physical exercise seems to have protective effects against diseases that involve inflammatory processes since it induces an increase in the systemic levels of cytokines with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and also acts by reducing estrogen levels. Evidence has suggested that the symptoms associated with endometriosis result from a local inflammatory peritoneal reaction caused by ectopic endometrial implants. Thus, the objective of the present review was to assess the relationship between physical exercise and the prevalence and/or improvement of the symptoms associated with endometriosis. To this end, data available in PubMed (1985-2012) were surveyed using the terms "endometriosis and physical exercises", "endometriosis and life style and physical exercises" in the English language literature. Only 6 of the 935 articles detected were included in the study. These studies tried establish a possible relationship between the practice of physical exercise and the prevalence of endometriosis. The data available are inconclusive regarding the benefits of physical exercise as a risk factor for the disease and no data exist about the potential impact of exercise on the course of the endometriosis. In addition, randomized studies are necessary.
Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto 14049-900, Brazil. firstname.lastname@example.org., , ,