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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Treatment – Acupuncture for PCOS

A polycystic ovary syndrome treatment is acupuncture, for many women. Here’s how acupuncture for PCOS works – and since PCOS can decrease fertility levels and prevent you from getting pregnant, it’s important to do everything you can to treat it!

Here’s what one woman says about acupuncture treatments and polycystic ovary syndrome:

“To our great surprise we were blessed with a third pregnancy during the PCOS study,” said Rebecca Killmeyer of Charlottesville, Virginia. “I’m absolutely certain the acupuncture treatments helped me ovulate regularly, which allowed me to become pregnant.”

Here’s a summary of the PCOS and acupuncture study she participated in. And, for more in-depth info on polycystic ovary syndrome, click on The Ultimate PCOS Handbook: Lose Weight, Boost Fertility, Clear Skin and Restore Self-Esteem.

What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

Polycystic ovary syndrome is cause by unbalanced hormones, which can lead to problems getting pregnant. Five percent of women of reproductive age are affected by PCOS. Symptoms can include small cysts on their ovaries, infrequent or irregular vaginal bleeding, male-pattern hair growth, and acne. Insulin resistance and pre-diabetes also can develop.

For more info, read How Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Affects Fertility.

Acupuncture Treatments for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Rebecca Killmeyer participated in a study testing the impact of acupuncture on women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) at the University of Virginia Health System – and conceived a baby!

PCOS is connected to a hormonal imbalance, interfering with ovulation and fertility. Lisa Pastore, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UVA Health System and principle researcher of the study, believes that acupuncture could be an important alternative, non-drug therapy for women with PCOS.

“Over the last year we have seen women who never had a regular menstrual cycle start having regular periods. We can also boast several pregnancies since the study began,” said Pastore. “Now we would like to recruit more people to the study in order to complete the study. It is important for research to have enough participants to ensure that the results are scientifically credible and not due to chance.”

Other Treatments for PCOS

According to WebMD, there is no cure for polycystic ovary syndrome – but controlling it increases your fertility levels and chances of getting pregnant. Controlling it also lowers your PCOS-related risk of miscarriages, heart disease, and uterine cancer.

Regular exercise, a healthy diet, no smoking, and weight control are keys to treating polycystic ovary syndrome successfully. Prescription medications are also helpful for some women, but it depends on your body, age, and goals for the future (such as overcoming infertility issues to get pregnant!).

To learn more about acupuncture, read Acupuncture for Fertility and Pregnancy – Natural Treatments.

And if you have any questions about PCOS treatments or acupuncture, please comment below…

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Source List:

  • Acupuncture May Help Women With PCOS. University of Virginia Health System.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)- Treatment Overview. WebMD.

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5 thoughts on “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Treatment – Acupuncture for PCOS”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Jeannie,

    The best answers to your questions about the study itself are provided by the links at the end of this article. I don’t have any more information about that research than those links offer.

    The cost of acupuncture depends on the acupuncturist. Rates vary according to location, experience, clinic location, etc. You’d have to talk to the acupuncturists in your area to get prices.

    The length of treatments depends on the woman, the severity of her polycystic ovary syndrome, how the PCOS is affected by the treatments, and the acupuncturist. There is no cut-and-dried answer, as what works for one woman may not work for another.

    I encourage you to talk to specific acupuncturists over the phone to get the best answers for you and your body.

    Best wishes,

  2. Is this study still being done at UVA? Do you know if there are other health systems in the US exploring and performing acupuncture to treat PCOS? How often is a treatment done – once a month? Would a woman have to continue this treatment throughout her life until menopause?
    Is acupuncture expensive? Thank you.

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks, Pandora. I hear alot about the positive effects of acupuncture, but haven’t tried it myself! My husband tried acupuncture (not for polycystic ovary syndrome, of course — he tried acupuncture for infertility), and he said it was incredibly relaxing.

  4. Research shows that exercise and electro-acupuncture treatments can reduce sympathetic nerve activity in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The finding is important because women with PCOS often have elevated sympathetic nerve activity, which plays a role in hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, obesity and cardiovascular disease

    The study also found that the electro-acupuncture treatments led to more regular menstrual cycles, reduced testosterone levels and reduced waist circumference.

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common endocrine disorders, affecting an estimated 10% of women of reproductive age. Among the problems associated with the condition are elevated levels of androgens (such as testosterone, the ‘male’ hormone found in both sexes), ovarian cysts, irregular menstrual cycles and infertility.

    PCOS is associated with increased sympathetic nerve activity in the blood vessels, part of the ‘fight or flight’ response that results in blood vessel constriction. Chronic activation of the sympathetic nervous system increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.

    “This is the first study to demonstrate that repeated low-frequency electro-acupuncture and physical exercise can reduce high sympathetic nerve activity seen in women with PCOS,” according to the authors. “Furthermore, both therapies decreased measures of obesity while only low-frequency electro-acupuncture improved menstrual bleeding pattern.”

    Source: ScienceDaily press release (June 29, 2009). “For Women With Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Acupuncture and Exercise May Bring Relief, Reduce Risks.”