Have you been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or PCOS? Many women do not become aware that they have it until trying to get pregnant. Some indicators of PCOS are a late onset of the first menstrual cycle, irregular menstrual cycles, and problems with ovulation. Women with PCOS have cysts on their ovaries. These are visible during an ultrasound. Your lab work may also show blood sugar as well as hormone issues.
Women with can additionally experience the following:
- Scalp hair loss,
- Heavier facial or body hair,
- High testosterone levels,
- Very high sex drive,
- Reduced breast tissue.
It is wise to note that not all women with PCOS have all of these symptoms.
In my 16 years as a Fertility Acupuncturist and RN in Corte Madera, California, I have treated hundreds of women with PCOS. I have also seen instances in which PCOS is masked. So symptoms are less harsh. This can be the case if a woman is consistently on birth control pills at an early age and/or for a long period. However, fewer complaints does not mean getting pregnant will be easier. Frequently, PCOS is discovered when birth control pills are stopped to become pregnant and there is no consistent ovulation or menstruation.
So how does acupuncture help for you if you have PCOS? Here is what science says. First of all, multiple scientific papers cite that PCOS effects are reduced with consistent acupuncture. 1
In 2011 the American Journal of Physiology Endocrinology and Metabolism published a study focusing on electro-acupuncture treating women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). As opposed to usual medical treatment or exercise alone, it found that:
- Electro-acupuncture (EA) balances hormones in women with PCOS.
- Electro-acupuncture (EA) regulates the menstrual cycle in women with PCOS.
- Electro-acupuncture (EA) promotes ovulation in women with PCOS. 2
In case you are not familiar with Electro-acupuncture, it uses what is called microcurrent. Microcurrent is measured in milliamperes. 1 Milliampere is 1/1000th of a single ampere. So this is very small and gentle stimulation. What do you feel in an acupuncture treatment with electro-acupuncture? The sensation is a light tapping or fluttering. Because it is so relaxing, typically my patients fall asleep during their sessions with me.
Stay tuned for Part II of PCOS, Babies and You blog next week. I will discuss in more detail how Acupuncture balances female hormones. These are key in helping you become pregnant. All content here is written personally by me in with the goal that it is be helpful to you. Please enjoy. Feel free to share your thoughts or questions here. As long as you include the link for this blog entry to credit me as the author, it is fine to repost or share if you wish. For scheduling information and appointment availability, do please visit my website at: KReynoldsAcupuncture.com.