Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs (pockets) that can grow inside or on the surface of your ovaries. Ovarian cyst surgery may be an option for reducing the symptoms.

How Acupuncture Affects Patients with PCOS

Your five-year plan is almost right on track. You just got promoted at work, you’ve bought a house in Wexford and you’ve married the love of your life. The only thing missing is starting a family. And no matter how hard you try, your monthly pregnancy tests continue to be negative. Are ovarian cysts the cause of your fertility issues? Should you undergo ovarian cyst surgery? Have you been diagnosed with PCOS? If so, what should you do about it?

What Are Ovarian Cysts?

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop in your ovaries. Ovaries produce eggs, as well as estrogen and progesterone. Since ovaries are a major part of the female reproductive system, cysts can sometimes interfere with a woman’s fertility.

Ovarian cysts are easily identified during an ultrasound exam, but removing them is not always necessary.

Your gynecologist may advise undergoing ovarian cyst surgery if a cyst:

  • Is suspected to be cancerous
  • Measures more than 2.5 inches in diameter
  • Is solid rather than complex or partially filled with fluid
  • Causes pain

There are alternatives to ovarian cyst surgery. Other treatment for ovarian cysts involves taking birth control pills to decrease the chances of new cysts forming during future menstrual cycles.

If an ovarian cyst doesn’t have any alarming symptoms, your physician may recommend follow-up pelvic ultrasounds at regular intervals to closely monitor your ovaries. Sometimes an ovarian cyst can disappear on its own.

What About PCOS?

Only two types of cysts can interfere with fertility. These include endometriomas – cysts caused by an abnormal growth of tissue lining your uterus – and cysts caused by Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), also called polycystic ovary disease. PCOS is an endocrine system disorder characterized by the growth of small, benign cysts in a woman’s ovaries.

PCOS is associated with irregular ovulation, which can lead to fertility problems in some women. To diagnose you with PCOS, your physician will look for the following three main signs:

  • The presence of polycystic ovaries
  • A history of irregular or absent menstrual periods
  • An excess of androgen, which causes the development of some male sex characteristics such as hirsutism, a deepened voice and male pattern baldness

Other typical PCOS symptoms include:

  • Acne
  • Weight gain or obesity
  • Infertility
  • Insulin resistance
  • Decreased breast size

Symptoms of PCOS can occur at puberty, but most women are diagnosed with PCOS in their 20s or 30s, sometimes after gaining a significant amount of weight.

Causes of PCOS are often initially due to the overproduction of luteinizing hormone, released by the pituitary gland. This causes an abundance of the male hormone androgen and a severe deficiency of follicle stimulating hormone, which stops the ovaries from releasing an egg. This egg slowly develops into a cyst.

Since studies have linked PCOS with increased risks of heart disease, as well as hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and endometrial cancer, it’s important to seek proper PCOS treatment once you get diagnosed.

What PCOS Treatment Should You Seek?

There are many treatments available if you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS. Based on your medical history, conventional PCOS treatment might include taking drugs such as:

  • Oral contraceptives and progesterone to regulate your menstrual cycle
  • Glucophage to treat insulin resistance
  • Androgen blockers, such as spironolactone

If you’re trying to get pregnant, your physician may prescribe a medication that triggers ovulation, such as clomiphene.

You may also wish to change your eating habits, such as following an anti-inflammatory diet, avoiding the ingestion of raised cattle and dairy products (which may contain hormones) and consuming foods that contain isoflavones, such as soy products. Isoflavones have been shown to possibly contribute to the regulation of hormone imbalances.

If you’re looking for alternative PCOS treatment, you may wish to:

  • Try traditional Chinese medicine by visiting an integrative medicine clinic and adding herbs to your diet under the guidance of an experienced professional
  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly
  • Undergo acupuncture sessions, which could help regularize your menstrual cycle or reduce the impact of PCOS. The efficacy and safety of acupuncture have been established by hundreds of randomized controlled trials.

Acupuncture as a PCOS Treatment

A fact sheet assembled by the British Acupuncture Council states that acupuncture may help symptoms of PCOS by specifically:

  • Impacting beta-endorphin production, which may affect gonadotropin-releasing hormone secretion
  • Regulating follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone and androgen levels
  • Modulating the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and improving blood flow to the ovaries
  • Regulating steroid hormone/peptide receptors
  • Reducing and controlling the expressions of serum levels of testosterone and estradiol
  • Controlling hyperglycemia by increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing blood glucose and insulin levels
  • Acting on brain areas known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress
  • Increasing the release of adenosine, which has antinociceptive properties
  • Reducing inflammation by promoting release of vascular and immunomodulatory factors

Acupuncture Balanced Health

Acupuncture Balanced Health offers individualized treatment plans for many types of health issues, including fertility problems and PCOS. Our practicing physicians have decades of experience treating chronic medical conditions with an expertise that combines traditional Chinese medicine with a conventional Western approach. The use of acupuncture, especially, has been linked to achieving higher fertility rates. If you’ve been diagnosed with PCOS, don’t wait any longer and contact us to make an appointment.




Acupuncture for fertility can make a difference in your treatment.

Can Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine Boost Fertility?

For any woman currently exploring fertility treatments, it’s easy to get caught up in the complicated options offered in modern infertility treatments: hormone injections, ovarian stimulation, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF). You may think that scientific breakthroughs are leading the charge. And while this may be true, there’s a way to increase your odds of getting pregnant that’s been around for almost 2,500 years: acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).

If you’ve been unable to conceive within a reasonable length of time, have you considered consulting a TCM practitioner?

Using acupuncture for fertility issues

Acupuncture involves thin, disposable sterile needles gently inserted and stimulated at strategic points near the surface of the body. Over 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body connect with 14 major pathways, called meridians. Chinese medicine practitioners believe that these meridians conduct qi, or energy, between the surface of the body and internal organs.

It’s this qi that regulates spiritual, emotional, mental and physical balance. When the flow of qi is disrupted through poor health habits or other circumstances, acupuncture helps unblock the normal flow of this energy and increase a woman’s chances of conceiving.

By placing the needles at key energy meridians linked to the reproductive organs, acupuncture increases and (most importantly) moves the flow of qi from areas where it may be overly abundant to areas that are deficient, thereby encouraging fertility.

Acupuncture can reduce stress

Research suggests that acupuncture is effective in reducing stress. Since stress has been shown to interfere with getting pregnant, it makes perfect sense that reducing your stress through acupuncture could theoretically improve your odds of conceiving.

Many women use acupuncture treatments to help them handle the stress they feel about the fertility process. And many fertility physicians recommend acupuncture for their patients to help lower their general stress levels, knowing that stress hormones can reduce the levels of important fertility hormones like progesterone. “I’ve referred patients to acupuncturists to do acupuncture in conjunction with a number of fertility treatments,” says Kathleen M. Brennan, M.D., a reproductive endocrinologist with the UCLA Fertility and Reproductive Health Center in Los Angeles.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help fertility issues

“The TCM diagnosis system is independent of the conventional medicine diagnosis of infertility,” says Dr. Wunian Chen, one of our Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners here at Acupuncture Balanced Health.

“Conventional medicine tries to find a reason for a woman’s infertility—for example, PCOS. If it can find no reason, yours is an ‘unexplained infertility.’ But based on Traditional Chinese Medicine, most women with ‘unexplained infertility’ usually fall into one of the categories listed below.

While TCM has a long history of use in aiding fertility, no individual herb is considered perfect for promoting fertility. Rather, more than 150 different herbs, given in complex formulas including 15 or more ingredients, are used in the treatment of infertility for the purpose of correcting the functional or organic problem that caused infertility.

Recent success stories at Acupuncture Balanced Health

Dr. Chen has treated four cases of ‘unexplained infertility’ in the last year. During the course of their TCM treatment, all four women became pregnant.

Two of the women had undergone intrauterine insemination treatment (IUI) before, without success. While being treated with acupuncture, they were both successful in becoming pregnant.

The third woman who became pregnant was treating her infertility issues with acupuncture and adhering to a structured diet in her course of TCM. The fourth woman was treating her infertility issues using acupuncture, TCM herbal and a structured diet.

Acupuncture is just one form of holistic, alternative medicine that deserves another look–especially when you’ve tried conventional fertility treatment methods without success. If you’d like to explore your options further, call (919) 929-7990 today for more information or to make an appointment.


  • Kidney deficiency

    • Kidney yang deficiency – possible signs and symptoms

      • Aversion to cold
      • Pale complexion
      • Fatigue
      • Weak lower back and knees
      • Loose stools
      • Frequent urination in large amounts
      • Low sex drive
      • Deep, weak pulse
    • Kidney yin deficiency – possible signs and symptoms

      • Overheating, night sweats and/or aversion to heat
      • Irritability
      • Difficulty sleeping
      • Dizziness
      • Thin and rapid pulse with possible palpitations
      • Hyperactive sex drive
      • Weakness in the lower back and knees
      • Short menstrual cycles with light discharge
      • Low ovarian reserve at a young age (under the age of 30)
    • Liver stagnation – possible signs and symptoms

      • Emotional depression
      • Irritability and a tendency to anger easily
      • Distending pain or discomfort in the abdomen or ribcage
      • Wiry pulse
      • Irregular menstrual cycles with cramps
      • Dark menstrual discharge with clots
      • Symptoms of premenstrual tension
    • Phlegm retention – possible signs and symptoms

      • Obesity and/or a sensation of bodily heaviness
      • “Fuzzy” thoughts
      • Expectoration of copious phlegm
      • Dizziness or palpitation
      • Slippery or wiry pulse
      • Large amount of vaginal discharge with no menses
      • Prolonged menstrual cycle
    • Blood stagnation – possible signs and symptoms

      • Sharp and stabbing pain in the body
      • Emotional disharmony
      • Stress
      • Dark facial complexion
      • Dry, rough skin
      • Pulse may be choppy
      • Irregular menstrual cycle
      • Clotty menstrual discharge
    • Blood deficiency – possible signs and symptoms

      • Sallow or “dull white” complexion
      • Poor memory
      • Insomnia
      • Depression and lack of spirit
      • Anxiety
      • Dizziness and Numbness
      • Blurred vision
      • Pale Lips
      • Fine or Choppy Pulse
      • Pale and possibly dry tongue
      • Amenorrhea and scanty periods