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What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture for PCOS?

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  • Written By: Kathleen Howard
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 22 November 2016
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Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a medical condition that sometimes affects the menstrual cycle, causes fertility issues, and leads to the formation of cysts on the ovaries. While there are several ways to treat this condition, some healthcare professionals believe that certain types of acupuncture might be effective in treating PCOS. Using acupuncture for PCOS could stimulate ovulation, regulate the menstrual cycle, and balance a woman’s hormones. Before considering acupuncture for PCOS, however, women should be aware of the risks and side effects associated with this treatment.

There are two types of acupuncture typically used for PCOS: traditional acupuncture and electro-acupuncture. While both types can be used to treat PCOS, electro-acupuncture might be more effective in stimulating ovulation. During an electro-acupuncture treatment, an electrical current is passed through the needles in order to stimulate each acupuncture point. This causes the muscles to contract and provides additional stimulation. Regardless of the type of acupuncture used, these treatments are typically combined with herbal and traditional medicine to enhance their effectiveness.

The primary reason most women use acupuncture for PCOS is to stimulate ovulation. In some cases, women living with PCOS will have infrequent or completely absent periods. Women who still have a somewhat regular menstrual cycle might still fail to ovulate during each cycle. This can make it extremely difficult to conceive.

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Many acupuncturists believe that acupuncture can regulate the menstrual cycle and support ovulation. To increase fertility, acupuncturists will typically design a personalized treatment plan for their patients. This plan will dictate the frequency of treatment and recommend certain herbs for patients to use. While some studies have shown acupuncture effective in stimulating ovulation, others have produced less enthusiastic results.

Using acupuncture for PCOS might also balance the hormones. Women who suffer from hyperandrogenism, or produce an excess amount of male sex hormones, as a result of PCOS might benefit from acupuncture. Research has indicated that acupuncture, specifically electro-acupuncture, can reduce unwanted hair growth, changes in voice, balding, acne and irregularities in the menstrual cycle.

Before using acupuncture for PCOS, women should be aware that there are certain risks associated with this treatment. One of the most worrisome risks of acupuncture is that is that incorrect treatment might cause miscarriage during pregnancy. Women interested in acupuncture should contact a acupuncturist who is experienced in treating women who are pregnant or dealing with fertility issues.

There are also certain side effects of acupuncture that should concern women. Possible side effects include changes in mood, sleep patterns, urination or the frequency of bowel movements. Since needles will be entering the skin, there is also a risk of infection or irritation. Generally, side effects are very mild and disappear within a few days of treatment. Women who have concerns regarding the safety and effectiveness of acupuncture should consult their physician or a professional acupuncturist for more personalized information.

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donasmrs
Post 3

@fify-- Are you doing regular acupuncture or electro-acupuncture? I tried both and electro-acupuncture worked better for me.

SarahGen
Post 2
@fify-- It can take a while to see results with acupuncture and PCOS is a complex problem. It can cause different kinds of symptoms, so it takes some time for these issues to respond to acupuncture.

Acupuncture helped me with my PCOS. It calmed me emotionally, helped me lose weight and helped return my ovary function to normal. But none of this happened overnight. It took months and for most of those months I had two sessions per week.

So I recommend continuing with acupuncture for longer. Don't give up yet, four sessions is not enough.

fify
Post 1

I started seeing an acupuncturist recently for PCOS related problems. I have had four sessions so far and I have not seen any difference in me. I still have mood changes and migraines.

Does acupuncture not work for some people? And how long does it usually take to see results for PCOS?

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