Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a very common condition, affecting 12-18% of women1, some say more. Despite its name, PCOS is more than just cysts on the ovaries and involves a complex hormonal interaction. If you have PCOS, you may experience a number of different symptoms, including:
- Irregular or absent period
- Excess body or facial hair
- Acne and/or skin inflammation
- Darkened skin patches
- Mood changes, anxiety and depression
- Fertility challenges
Symptoms of PCOS can manifest in many different ways. Some women will have very few or mild symptoms, whereas others will suffer more severely throughout their cycle.
Acupuncture and naturopathic support is often highly beneficial for women with PCOS: reducing and controlling symptoms, improving overall health and addressing comorbid conditions such as insulin resistance, weight management and infertility.
Diet and lifestyle is an important factor in treating PCOS, including the reduction of inflammatory foods (e.g. refined carbohydrates), increasing nutrient-dense foods, incorporating regular exercise and stress management strategies.
In acupuncture treatments, needles are placed along the acupuncture meridians related to the reproductive system. These have multiple effects and benefits, from hormonal regulation to improving blood flow to providing a sensation of relaxation and calm.
Research has demonstrated that acupuncture has a beneficial effect on multiple factors that can influence PCOS, including metabolic function, weight management and hormonal balance2; as well as a positive effect on ovulatory dysfunction3.
Acupuncture treatment for PCOS will usually involve weekly or fortnightly sessions for six to eight weeks, then maintenance treatments as required. This will vary from woman to woman, and depends on each individual case.
Acupuncture and naturopathic medicine integrate well with conventional medical treatment for PCOS to reduce symptoms and bring about the best possible health outcomes.
1. March et al. 2010. Human Reprod. 2.Qu et al. 2016. Euro J Integrative Med. 3. Johansson & Stener-Victorin. 2013. Evidence Based CAM.