Vibhuti Rao

Culturally appropriate lifestyle medicine model for managing PCOS: the role of Ayurveda and yoga


Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a highly prevalent and complex disorder amongst Indian women with resultant challenging metabolic and reproductive consequences. PCOS has no cure and there is a need for alternative, sustainable, and effective lifestyle options. Lifestyle modification is the first-line treatment of PCOS, however has limited research.

Ayurveda and yoga are traditional medicinal systems originated in Indian sub-continent, are now popular worldwide for their effect in managing various chronic and lifestyle-related. A lifestyle program constituting the Ayurvedic diet and yoga therapy (AY) based on Ayurvedic principles may help reduce weight and improve metabolic and reproductive outcomes in women with PCOS.

This exploratory, sequential and mixed-method study will be conducted in Australia and India, aiming to present a standard AY lifestyle program and assess its feasibility, acceptability, and safety in ethnic Indian women with PCOS who are overweight/obese. This study will include a randomised feasibility trial of over 12-weeks. 

To our knowledge, this will be the first study to examine a combined lifestyle intervention including Ayurvedic diet and yoga to manage symptoms of PCOS. If this program proves to be effective, it may become a first-line treatment option for clinicians worldwide to provide a structured lifestyle program in ethnic Indian women with PCOS to help manage weight and improve PCOS related health outcomes.


Vibhuti is a qualified Ayurvedic medicine doctor, public health professional and a trained yoga therapist working in the health field for the last 15 years. She has two masters degree, in Yoga and Public Health, investigating PCOS amongst Indian women and Indian migrant women's experiences of motherhood and postnatal support in Australia. Throughout her studies and clinical Ayurveda practice, Vibhuti found women’s reproductive and mental health as an area of particular interest to her. She is now focused to build upon on evidence-based research in Ayurvedic medicines and yoga.


Supervisors:

Dr Carolyn Ee; Dr Mike Armour; Dr Bobby Cheema; Professor Caroline Smith