Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is caused by an imbalance of female and male sex hormones. This imbalance can cause follicles within the ovaries to produce immature eggs. Instead of being released in the normal course, those immature eggs can form small cysts in the ovary. The body’s resistance to insulin is thought to be a factor in some cases.
Women with PCOS do not ovulate regularly and can experience symptoms such as irregular menstrual periods, excessive hair growth, acne and weight gain.
Western medical doctors sometimes prescribe hormones, or a diabetes drug (metformin) for the treatment of PCOS.
After extensive testing, a common Chinese herbal formula (Tiangui Fang), prescribed for the treatment of PCOS, has been shown to produce similar results as Metformin. Tiangui Fang, and other custom Chinese herbal prescription formulas have fewer side effects than most Western medicine.
Seventy percent of women who take fertility drugs such as clomiphene or follicle-stimulating hormones ovulate. Of those who ovulate, half go on to conceive within 6-9 months. Unfortunately, one in five of those pregnancies miscarry.
Acupuncture and/or herbal treatment helps to regulate hormones and the menstrual cycle, reduce inflammation and scarring, and promote healing. Many clinical studies have also shown that TCM can restore regular menstruation, relieve symptoms, and induce ovulation in PCOS patients. There is a growing body of research demonstrating the positive effects of acupuncture on PCOS.
Many recent studies undertaken by team of researchers from around the world will help to further our knowledge in the area of PCOS and acupuncture treatment. This is a very active area of research. Check our news frequently for current updates in this area of research.