Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a very complex disorder due to multiple hormonal imbalances. Women with PCOS may ovulate irregularly or not at all. This results from elevated insulin levels that stimulate excess androgen production by the ovaries. The androgens cause premature follicular wasting which causes inconsistent or absent ovulation. PCOS is not thoroughly understood, but it is thought to be due to hypersensitivity of the sympathetic nervous system. Clomid or Letrozole are the drugs of choice to force ovulation, but it fails to address the underlying problems such as an androgen-rich environment surrounding the ovaries.  Also, high insulin levels can create poor-quality eggs.

Acupuncture moderates the sympathetic nervous system and has been seen to help women with PCOS ovulate. The following study demonstrated that low-frequency electroacupuncture (EA) used twice a week over a course of 16 weeks helped women regain ovulation and also lower testosterone levels. For very stubborn cases 3-4 times a week would be necessary. My own experience with women with longer than usual cycles is that their cycles become shorter, and quickly get closer and closer to the ideal 28-day cycle. How does this work? Electro-Acupuncture Affects the Activity of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovary Axis and improves cyclicity and reduction of circulating testosterone levels and lowers FSH, LH, and estrogen.