Women with the hormone disorder known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may benefit from acupuncture, according to a new study at the University of Virginia Health System.
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 this disorder.
"Over the last year we have seen women who never had a regular menstrual cycle start having regular periods," 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."
Many traditional medications and therapies can treat this syndrome; however, Pastore’s research is assessing whether acupuncture can successfully regulate hormones and cure PCOS symptoms.
PCOS affects five percent of reproductive age women. A condition in which the ovaries develop cysts, symptoms of PCOS may include an infrequent or irregular period, infertility, lack of ovulation, abnormal hair growth, acne, insulin resistance, and weight gain. An endocrine disorder, PCOS has wide ranging effects on both overall health and fertility.
Acupuncture is a holistic care therapy which can effectively treat PCOS by regulating the multiple hormonal imbalances associated with the condition. Acupuncture regulates the menstrual cycle by treating underlying deficiencies and removing energy, or chi, blockages. Acupuncture also stimulates the body’s own natural production of hormones and improves blood circulation in the pelvic organs.
A recent study done by researchers at Göteborg University in Sweden involved 24 women with PCOS who received acupuncture for two to three months. At the end of the study, nine women (38 percent) had regular ovulation.
Chinese herbal medicine may be utilized in conjunction with acupuncture to improve ovarian function, enhance egg quality, relax the body, and reduce stress. In addition to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) therapies, a healthy lifestyle, exercise and proper nutrition can aid in treating and curing PCOS.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can improve the body’s natural healing potential. Acupuncture can also relax the sympathetic nervous system, which can aid in restoring normal ovulation. Acupuncture can aid in weight loss, reduce headaches, and improve outlook and mood. Your acupuncture physician will assess and determine an exact treatment plan tailored to your individual constitution and PCOS symptoms.
Acupuncture treatment for PCOS stimulates particular acupuncture points located along meridian channels related to the reproductive system. These acupoints can help improve blood flow to the area, stimulate organs, normalize hormone levels, and restore proper functioning of the reproductive system.
For more information about acupuncture for the treatment of PCOS and other gynecological disorders call Dr. Richard Browne, Acupuncture Physician, at (305) 595-9500.