Acupuncture for PCOS


Acupuncture and physical exercise can help relieve some of the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) according to new research from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism.

PCOS is a common disorder affecting up to 10% of all women of reproductive age. Symptoms include irregular ovulation and menstruation. Characterized by small immature egg follicles in the ovaries, most of the women with PCOS are left infertile and without many options. The irregularities in the ovaries cause an increased production of testosterone which leads to other undesirable side effects. Women with PCOS often suffer from obesity, insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease as well.

For the study, a group of women were given acupuncture where the needles were stimulated both manually and with a low electric current at a low frequency that simulated muscular contractions. A second group was instructed to exercise three times a week, and third acted as the control group participating in neither activity.

“The study shows that both acupuncture and exercise reduce high levels of testosterone and lead to more regular menstruation,” says Elisabet Stener-Victorin, docent associate professor responsible for the study. “Of the two treatments, the acupuncture proved more effective.” While the cause of PCOS isn’t known, it is believed to reside in the sympathetic nervous system, that part of the nervous system which we do not consciously control. Acupuncture and exercise reduce levels of activity in the sympathetic nerve system and may account for the test results.

Source: University of Gothenburg, ScienceDaily


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