Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

    Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine conditions for women of childbearing age.

    It is diagnosed on the basis of oligo-ovulation or anovulation (irregular or no ovulation), insulin resistance, elevated androgen levels and cysts on the ovaries.

    These all vary on a spectrum differently for different women.

    Symptoms can include irregular menses, weight gain, hirsutism (excess facial or body hair), acne, and infertility.

    Acupuncture is thought to help by its ability to modulate the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian axis (1), thus regulating  hormone levels and menstrual cycles. It can also improve mood and outlook.

    There have been many studies in the last decade looking at the effects of acupuncture on PCOS. One such study published in 2013 showed that after 10-13 weeks of treatment, acupuncture was demonstrated to improve menstrual frequency and decrease circulating testosterone in women with PCOS (2).

    Overall we are seeing better ovulation frequency in patients looking to improve fertility.

    Also helping improve quality of life cannot be understated.

    Resources

    1. Effects and mechanisms of acupuncture in the reproductive system. Stener-Victorin E, Jedel E, Manneras L. J Neuroendocrinol 2018.

    2. Acupuncture for Ovulation induction in PCOS: A randomized controlled trial. Johansson J, Redman L, Stener-Victorin E et al. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2013.