Acupuncture for PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome): Efficiency & Benefits of Alternative Methods
One of the most common hormonal disorders that occur in women of reproductive age is polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Although it’s a treatable condition, it may cause severe consequences, such as infertility, if not addressed correctly and on time.
PCOS often results in irregular or prolonged menstrual cycle or excess levels of androgen, which is a male hormone. Such a disorder may provoke the development of numerous small collections of fluid on the ovaries – follicles – which is why they fail to release eggs regularly.
The specific PCOS causes are unknown, but the truth is that various factors can trigger this condition. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is one of the most efficient ways to treat PCOS – it includes acupuncture and herbal therapies, which are considered the most potent natural treatments that can improve the symptoms of ovary problems and regulate menstrual cycles.
This article will discuss the most critical concepts of polycystic ovary syndrome and provide the best treatment options that include acupuncture, herbal therapies, and other approaches based on Traditional Chinese Medicine.
What is PCOS?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that women usually develop during their reproductive years. It may affect their ability to have children (fertility), but it can also cause a variety of health issues such as diabetes and high blood pressure. This syndrome is followed by the absence of a period and the inability to predict it. Still, you may notice the onset of acne and growth of unwanted body or facial hair.
What are Common PCOS Symptoms?
The most common sign of PCOS is irregular, missed, infrequent, or prolonged period. However, due to the hormonal imbalance, you may notice excess growth of hair in places you don’t want it, acne, and other symptoms that commonly include:
- Weight gain
- Pelvic pain
- Mood swings
- Darkened color or skin tags on the neck or in the armpits.
What are the PCOS Causes?
The exact causes of polycystic ovary syndrome are unknown, but the onset of this problem can be associated with hormonal imbalance and excess production of hormones that play a significant role in PCOS – androgen, insulin, and progesterone.
Genetic factors can also cause PCOS. That said, you’re more likely to develop this syndrome if your mother or sister has it.
How is PCOS Diagnosed?
There is no particular test that could diagnose PCOS. Still, your doctor or practitioner may ask you about your symptoms and medical history, and, if necessary, do a physical or a pelvic exam.
They might also give you blood tests to measure hormone levels, cholesterol, and blood sugar, as well as an ultrasound, which allows them to check your ovaries for cysts and tumors.
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PCOS and Pregnancy: What to Expect?
Women with PCOS are often afraid that they might not be able to have kids. Polycystic ovary syndrome does affect your ability to conceive, but it doesn’t mean that you’re infertile. That said, you can get pregnant, although you might need to take medicines or undergo therapies to improve your fertility.
However, women with PCOS are at higher risk of specific problems and complications during pregnancy, which is why they need to be quite careful and listen to their doctor’s or practitioner’s suggestions to avoid the following inconveniences:
- Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- Preterm birth
- C-section delivery.
What is the Most Efficient PCOS Treatment?
The specific PCOS treatment will depend mostly on your symptoms and whether you want to get pregnant.
In some cases, losing a couple of pounds will be enough to regulate your hormones, retrieve the lost balance, and start feeling much better. Some other examples may involve using certain medications, birth control pills, or drugs that regulate periods and ovulation.
Although they can establish a hormonal balance and solve current health problems, hormone medications may cause additional inconveniences such as fatigue, weight gain, memory problems, and other issues that may be difficult to regulate. What to do instead?
PCOS can be successfully treated with alternative, drug-free medicine based on traditional Chinese methods and completely safe and efficient approaches. The most popular forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine are acupuncture and Chinese herbs – used together, they provide incredible outcomes in addressing the symptoms associated with PCOS and infertility.
PCOS and Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have a long history of use for gynecological disorders such as PCOS, infertility, and hormonal imbalances that lead to similar inconveniences. Combining these approaches is vital for achieving general well-being and strengthening the immune system, preventing the onset of other conditions at the same time.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, PCOS is closely related to kidney yang deficiency (poor metabolism) and damp accumulation (fluid-filled cysts). Both defects have been successfully treated with herbal therapies and acupuncture for years with minimal side effects and a high success rate.
PCOS and Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been widely used for centuries. Although it serves as an excellent therapy for pain and stress management, acupuncture has expanded its healing power to treat a variety of conditions that are considered irreversible and incurable. It has also proven its efficiency in treating different gynecological disorders safely and painlessly.
A typical acupuncture session involves the insertion of fine needles into specific anatomical points (acupoints) and stimulation. It has recently gained popularity in the reproductive endocrinology and infertility fields since it has provided remarkable results in helping women regulate their menstrual cycles, ovulation, and hormones while increasing their chances of conception.
By stimulating particular points, your body releases the vital energy (qi) that flows through the meridians located close to the acupoints, impacts the blood flow, and retrieves the lost balance that had caused hormonal problems and similar health inconveniences. Besides, acupuncture reduces stress and promotes emotional and mental health, which play a significant role in the reproductive system.
Electro Acupuncture and PCOS
One of the most common acupuncture styles used for treating the symptoms of PCOS is electro-acupuncture. It originates from China, and it was developed as an alternative to stimulating acupuncture needles by hand. Namely, unlike traditional (manual) acupuncture, electro-acupuncture involves the application of a pulsating electrical current to needles, which is used to stimulate the acupoints.
According to the recent study, many women observed certain improvements regarding ovulation and menstrual cycle after receiving a specific number of electro-acupuncture therapies. They also noticed that their levels of testosterone became significantly lower, which is a great improvement.
What are Acupuncture Points for PCOS?
The following points are considered the most efficient when performing PCOS acupuncture:
- RN4 (Guanyuan): By stimulating this point with needles or moxa, you get the opportunity to tonify qi, yin, yang, and blood flow, strengthen kidneys, boost the immune system, and encourage fertility.
- EX-CA1 (Zigong): This is a so-called “uterus point,” which is vital for treating gynecological conditions such as amenorrhea, infertility, and PCOS.
- ST29 (Guilai): This point’s stimulation may bring positive results in treating amenorrhea, irregular periods, qi stagnation, infertility, genital pain, etc.
- ST36 (Zusanli): The stimulation of this point decreases sympathetic nerve activity, which is vital for reducing PCOS symptoms. Namely, women with PCOS have an increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
- SP6 (Sanyinjiao): This point is beneficial for tonifying yin and blood and reducing gynecological and menstrual issues.
Other acupoints may also be included in the process, and your practitioner will choose them based on your overall health and symptoms that need to be treated.
Chinese Herbs for PCOS
Chinese herbs have a long history in treating different conditions associated with women’s health. They are often used as a complementary treatment to acupuncture, and their combination brings exceptional and long-lasting outcomes.
Chinese herbs help heal physical and mental disorders, and many people find them convenient because they’re efficient, generally free of side effects and the use of pharmaceuticals. Instead of addressing only the symptoms of a patient’s condition, herbal medicine focuses on enhancing one’s overall health and promoting general well-being.
The most commonly used herbs for PCOS are:
- Zao jiao ci: This herb helps you eliminate toxins and dissolves the waxy coat around the ovarian cysts.
- Bu gu zhi: This is one of those herbs that tonify the yang, boost the immune system, and improve metabolism function.
- Xian mao: Your practitioner may suggest this herb since it tonifies the kidneys, strengthens yang, eliminates dampness, and reduces the effects of insulin resistance.
- Huang jing: This herb is widely used due to its ability to moisten lung yin, tonify the kidneys, and nurture the organism.
- Dang gui: Many herbal therapies use this plant since it balances hormones.
Although Chinese herbs have positive effects on the overall health and cause minimal or no side effects, you shouldn’t use them without prior consultation with your certified Chinese herbalist, because certain types of herbs may interfere with some of the medications you might be using.
Functional Medicine for PCOS
You should understand that polycystic ovary syndrome represents quite a complex endocrine and metabolic condition that requires a holistic medical approach that will treat the PCOS-related symptoms with a high level of efficiency.
Functional medicine can be one of the practical options for treating PCOS. It offers all the necessary tools to diagnose and treat women with this syndrome while providing a comprehensive analysis of the patient’s overall health.
To get the right diagnosis, your functional medicine practitioner will ask you to bring your lab tests (or any other tests that could give them more information about your condition), which will be used for determining the adequate alternative treatment for your health disorder.
Functional medicine treatments are comprehensive and safe, and they are based on both Eastern and Western medicine approaches. They have provided excellent results in treating infertility and PCOS, and you’ll find them incredibly convenient.
PCOS Natural Treatment: Diet & Lifestyle Changes
Women with PCOS often have higher insulin levels. Insulin is a vital hormone produced in the pancreas, and it helps the cells in your body turn sugar (glucose) into energy. If your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, your blood sugar levels can rise, which often leads to insulin resistance and diabetes type 2.
High levels of insulin can lead to the excess production of androgens in your ovaries, which is the common cause of the reproductive system’s problems.
These issues are often triggered by having a body mass index (BMI) above the normal range. A diet rich in refined carbohydrates (sugars) and saturated fats can make insulin resistance and make losing weight more difficult.
The best way to mitigate the effects of insulin resistance is by adding healthier lifestyle habits and getting rid of those that might be affecting the quality of your life.
Your acupuncturist may suggest a diet modification that consists of:
- High-fiber vegetables (broccoli)
- Lean protein (fish)
- Anti-inflammatory foods and spices (turmeric and tomatoes).
These foods will help you combat insulin resistance by slowing down digestion and reducing sugar’s effects on the blood. To boost your improvement and get better results, make sure you avoid the following foods:
- Refined carbs (muffins, white bread, and baked goods)
- Sugary snacks and drinks
- Inflammatory foods (processed and red meat).
Along with diet modification, you should consider other lifestyle changes such as physical movement and exercise. Try to lower your stress levels as much as you can, since it’s another factor that affects the ovulation and causes significant health problems that impact the ovaries’ functionality.
Although the habit-changing process sounds intimidating and difficult, it will turn to a piece of cake thanks to your acupuncturist, who will encourage you to focus on your health and help you understand its importance. Acupuncture sessions bring many benefits to both the physical and mental life of a person, and their power lies in promoting overall health and motivating patients to embrace life challenges with courage and an open mind.
Makari Wellness: The Best Acupuncture PCOS in San Diego, CA
Makari Wellness gives its best to provide highly efficient and safe therapies for patients dealing with a wide range of conditions that are considered irreversible and incurable. Mike Woodworth, a gem of our clinic, gives the best acupuncture for PCOS, infertility, amenorrhea, and other gynecological conditions, while promoting overall health and healthy lifestyle habits.
Contact us at (888) 871-8889 and learn more about polycystic ovary syndrome acupuncture and herbs offered by licensed practitioners at Makari Wellness.