If you have problems with regularity of your menstrual cycle, acne, excessive hair growth, excess weight and infertility, you could possibly have something known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS is where the ovaries have many cysts or follicles that often don’t grow to produce viable eggs. It is due to this that ovulation does not always occur once a month like it should, resulting in irregular menstrual cycles where menstruation occurs less frequently of longer than 28 days.
Some women have amenorrhoea or no periods for months or even years! Anxiety and depression are other possible symptoms of PCOS as well as obesity. PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility.
The cause of PCOS is high levels of insulin and/or high levels of male hormones called androgens. PCOS can be easily diagnosed by ultrasound and blood tests for hormonal levels. Doctors will often prescribe the Oral Contraceptive Pill to women with PCOS but all this does is mask the problem and when these women come off the pill to have a baby they find that they are still exhibiting the symptoms of PCOS and their cycle doesn’t come back regularly.
It is imperative that women with PCOS manage their lifestyle by exercising regularly and having a low GI diet which is effective for weight loss and hence increasing rate of ovulation. Another reason being that PCOS sufferers are at increased risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes later in life.
Although treatment can include a healthy lifestyle, hormone therapy and other medications such as Chlomid, acupuncture and Chinese Herbs give very high rate of success in bringing the menstrual cycle back to 28 -30days hence increasing chances of ovulation, conception and pregnancy. Acupuncture focuses on re –establishing the function of the ovaries so that the eggs can ripen and be released from the ovary to be fertilized. In order to induce ovulation a selection of specific acupuncture points are used and been proven in studies to be effective in increasing ovulation rates. Acupuncture is also known to stimulate the secretion of Endorphins or feel good hormones as well as Melatonin and Serotonin making you feel more relaxed in general.
I have had many patients come to my clinic with PCOS and I have had good results getting cycle back to a more regular 28 -30 day cycle by using a combination of acupuncture and Chinese Herbs. It is definitely worth a try! To view a recent research paper on the effectiveness of acupuncture on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome go to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4116535/