Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) affects ten percent of women in their reproductive years. It is a metabolic disorder that is associated with a majority of infertile women. However, there is evidence that acupuncture for PCOS can increase fertility.
What is PCOS?
PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, is one of the leading causes of infertility in women. Those with the syndrome do not ovulate on a normal cycle, which has a number of effects on the body. Aside from infertility, the condition can also cause a number of other health issues , including:
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Ovarian cysts
However, there is hope for those who suffer from PCOS.
Traditional medicines can be used to treat some of the symptoms and effects of PCOS. However, like any medicines, these can come along with unwanted side effects such as fatigue or nausea. A more natural and effective way to treat PCOS is available – acupuncture.
A variety of studies have shown that acupuncture is successful in treating PCOS. Acupuncture involves using needles to stimulate different parts of the body. In the case of PCOS, this stimulation can be used to send signals to the brain to slow the release of male hormones into the body. Less male hormones means your body will have an easier time getting back into a normal menstrual cycle.
One study published by the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism tested 32 women with the condition to see if acupuncture actually helped. The study showed that those who received acupuncture treatments had more success in improving their menstrual cycle than those that didn’t.
PCOS disrupts ovulation by creating a large number of immature follicles in the ovary each month. It also disrupts menstruation; many women will go without a period for a number of months and then have a heavy period.
PCOS is a disorder that affects the endocrine system. An overabundance of androgens, such as testosterone, causes a hormonal imbalance which in turn can cause increased body hair and acne. Women with PCOS are often overweight. Because PCOS affects the metabolism of a women, they tend to be insulin resistant.
Women who have PCOS have issues with egg quality. Thus treatments such as IVF are not always successful because embryos aren’t always viable.
How can Acupuncture Treat PCOS Infertility?
According to traditional Chinese medicine, infertility, along with other medical conditions, largely come from the body being out of balance. The main goal of acupuncture is to put the body back in balance, so the body is able to conceive and carry a pregnancy. Acupuncture for fertility has been scientifically proven effective. This ancient and established medical system can help you to conceive even though you have had difficulty so far.
A study of 225 women was conducted at the University of Witten, in Germany. These women volunteered to be study subjects because they had difficulty conceiving. The study divided them into two groups. The first group of women were given conventional fertility treatments. The second group of women were given these identical treatments, with acupuncture as an adjunct therapy.
At the conclusion of the study, 13.8% of women in the first group became pregnant. The women in the second group, the women who took a holistic approach to fertility via acupuncture, had a pregnancy rate of 28.4%, which is more than twice as much as the control group.
Dr. Laurie Binder’s success rate of 70% is much higher than this.
Acupuncture treats many of the symptoms of PCOS and infertility. Acupuncture stimulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system which regulates FSH, LH, and androgens, which then improves egg quality. It also improves blood flow to the ovaries which helps reduce cysts and aids in regular ovulation. Acupuncture also helps the body control blood glucose levels and combat insulin resistance.
One theory about how acupuncture treats the various symptoms of PCOS is that it can reduce elevated levels of the neurohormone β-endorphin, which then affects a women’s metabolism negatively. Another hypothesis is that because the PCOS ovaries have more sympathetic nerve endings which then increase androgens, acupuncture can directly decrease the heightened stimulation of these nerve endings.
Although not all the mechanisms of how acupuncture treats PCOS is known, there is much evidence that it can successfully control PCOS symptoms and enhance infertility.
If you are affected by Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and want a treatment with few side effects and generally great results, acupuncture may be just what you’re looking for. Contact us today if you are affected by PCOS and want to learn more about how acupuncture can improve your life.
Check out Dr. Laurie Binder’s patient testimonials and baby gallery pages. Acupuncture could be the missing link in your fertility plan. Likewise, it could be a service that helps you become a healthier and happier, and more balanced person.
Acupuncture for IVF success studies
Acupuncture isn’t just for pain and stress relief; data suggests it can indeed be a fertility champion, too. For example, researchers at the University of Witten/Herdecke in Dortmund, Germany conducted a study of 225 women attempting to conceive. Patients who combined acupuncture with traditional fertility treatments had a pregnancy rate of 28.4 percent, compared to 13.8 percent among those who did not supplement their conventional treatment.
At the University of Maryland, researchers concluded that for patients undergoing IVF at clinics that have otherwise low success rates, acupuncture indeed increased pregnancy rates. Their analysis, which included 4,021 subjects, revealed that the practice increased pregnancy rates in clinics with an IVF success rate below 32%.
Yet another study published in Fertility and Sterility in 2002 concluded that acupuncture appears to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rates after assisted reproduction therapy.
Why might acupuncture help you conceive a baby? Acupuncture is believed to stimulate neurotransmitters that produce the hormones controlling menstrual cycles and ovulation. The treatment may also help fertility by increasing blood flow to the uterus, helping the body relax and de-stress, and reducing side effects from IVF medication.
PCOS Acupuncture fertility Los Angeles
Enough with the technical talk. Have you see our baby gallery? Browse through the adorable cherubs we’ve been able to help bring into this world, and read what their families had to say about their experience at Los Angeles Acupuncture and Wellness.
Not only is Dr. Laurie Binder a Licensed Acupuncturist and Doctor of Acupuncture, she’s also a registered nurse certified nurse practitioner, a Lamaze certified childbirth educator, and a certified health consultant. Needless to say, you’ll be in good hands.
If you’re ready to explore your fertility and wellness options, contact us for an appointment.