Women's Health: Polycystic ovarian syndrome
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Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a condition associated with multiple cysts in the ovaries. Ovulation often does not take place. The production of hormones is also often unbalanced, particularly with raised levels of testosterone. PCOS is now recognised as the most common cause of ovulation failure, leading to infertility in women who have not yet reached the menopause. Despite extensive research, little is known about the aetiology or cause of PCOS. The syndrome is associated with peripheral and central factors that influence sympathetic nerve activity. Thus, the sympathetic nervous system may be an important factor in the development and maintenance of PCOS. Acupuncture acts by reducing sympathetic nerve activity and balancing hormone levels, in addition research shows that acupuncture can reduce the number of ovarian cysts, stimulate ovulation, enhance blastocyst implantation and regulate the menstrual cycle in women with PCOS (Stener-Victorin 2000, 2008, 2009, Zhang 2009)(1)

Treatment with Chinese Medicine

A combination of acupuncture, dietary and lifestyle changes are the most effective method of treatment. Consequently you may be advised to consult a Nutritional Therapist while undergoing your acupuncture treatment plan. The aims of the treatment will be to balance your hormones and regulate your menstrual cycle, to promote ovulation and regulate your periods. Stener-Victorin and Jedel research-validated protocols will be incorporated into your treatment prescription. Their research has shown that initially twice weekly acupuncture sessions are most effective in the first month, then decreasing frequency with treatment lasting 4 months (Jedel 2011)(2). Where a higher frequency treatment plan is recommended, the treatment duration of each session may be reduced.

References

(1) Stener-Victorin E, Waldenström U, Tägnfors U, Lundeberg T, Lindstedt G, Janson PO. Effects of electro-acupuncture on anovulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2000 Mar;79(3):180-8.

Stener-Victorin E, Jedel E, Mannerås L. Acupuncture in polycystic ovary syndrome: current experimental and clinical evidence. J Neuroendocrinol. 2008 Mar;20(3):290-8.

Stener-Victorin E, Jedel E, Janson PO, Sverrisdottir YB. Low-frequency electroacupuncture and physical exercise decrease high muscle sympathetic nerve activity in polycystic ovary syndrome. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009 Aug;297(2):R387-95.

Zhang WY, Huang GY, Liu J. [Influences of acupuncture on infertility of rats with polycystic ovarian syndrome] [in Chinese] Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2009 Nov;29(11):997-1000.

(2) Impact of electro-acupuncture and physical exercise on hyperandrogenism and oligo/amenorrhea in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial Jedel et al, American Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism January 2011 vol. 300 no. 1 E37-E45

Read Abstract of the Jedel at al research

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