What is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)?
PCOS means there are many cysts on the ovaries. Unfortunately, they rarely become mature enough to produce eggs for fertilisation, which can lead to infertility issues. It is a very complex metabolic condition, with most women having resistance to insulin and/or over production of male hormones, such as testosterone.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
- Mood changes
- Excessive facial/body hair or thinning of hair
- Irregular or absent menstrual cycles
- No symptoms at all and only discover the condition when having fertility tests
Western Medicine Approach
- Medications (e.g. insulin resistance and synthetic hormone drugs),
- Diet and lifestyle advice
- IVF for infertility
What is PCOS in Chinese Medicine
PCOS often involves of pattern called accumulation and stagnation of phlegm damp. This is a complex condition that can have many contributing factors such as digestive issues and stress.
More importantly what can you do?
- Exercise: Studies indicate that moderate intensity and regular exercise positively affecting hormonal levels and menstruation.
- Weight reduction: as little as 5-10% weight loss can restore normal hormone production.
- Avoid cheese please. According to Chinese dietary therapy, the consistency of your cysts is similar to that of cheese so too much cheese (and dairy) will potentially add to the damp phlegm pattern mention above.
Current research indicates acupuncture may help stimulate ovulation, however such studies have been of poor quality, so the research is not considered strong. However, acupuncture can assist with other associated symptoms of PCOS such as stress and tension.
Please contact us for more information
Acupuncture for polycystic ovarian syndrome. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD007689. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD007689.pub3., , , , , , .
Jedel, E., Labrie, F., Oden, A., Holm, G., Nilsson, L., Janson, P.O., Lind, A., Ohlsson, C. & Stener-Victorin, E. (2011). Impact of electro-acupuncture and physical exercise on hyperandrogenism and oligo/amenorrhoea in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2011, 300(1): 37-45. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00495.2010.
Zhang, J., Li, T., Zhou, L., Tang, L., Xu, L., Wu, T. & Lim, DCE. (2010). Chinese herbal medicine for subfertile women with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2018 Sep 8;(9). DOI:10.1002/14651858.CD007535.pub2.