admin, September 15, 2016
Sometimes, no matter how diligently you follow your doctor’s advice, your polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) doesn’t get better. When you don’t see any results after exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet and taking the medications your doctor prescribes, it’s not unusual to feel a little disappointed and frustrated. Although it may seem as if there are no other options, acupuncture treatment can offer a natural solution to your problem.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture was first practiced thousands of years ago in Asia. Early practitioners believed Qi, a life force that travels throughout your body, can become blocked, causing numerous health problems. When they inserted tiny needles into strategic areas of the body, blockages were cleared and symptoms improved. Today, acupuncture is used to treat a variety of conditions and diseases, ranging from migraines to arthritis to PCOS.
Why Is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Challenging to Treat?
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a complex condition that causes multiple health issues, including:
- Lack of menstruation
- Long periods
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Excess hair growth
- Hair loss
- Enlarged ovaries that contain fluid-filled cysts
- Insulin resistance
- A high level of male hormones
Because the disorder affects your endocrine system, metabolism and reproductive health, it can be challenging to find the right mixture of medications that address all of these problems. Long-term treatment with medications is often needed to keep the problems under control.
Doctors frequently prescribe hormonal birth control methods, such as pills, rings or patches to regulate the menstrual cycle and treat other PCOS symptoms, such as excessive hair growth. Becoming pregnant often requires a mixture of medications that will help you ovulate. Although these medications can be helpful, some women can’t use them or can’t tolerate the side effects.
Metformin, a medication commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes, is often used to lower insulin level and improve insulin resistance. Unfortunately, metformin can also cause some unpleasant side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, cough, back or side pain, cramps and difficulty urinating.
How Can Acupuncture Treatment Improve PCOS Symptoms?
Acupuncture offers a completely natural way to improve your symptoms and has no side effects. Researchers who conducted a clinical trial review published in Gynecological Endocrinology determined that acupuncture can help improve PCOS symptoms by:
- Increasing blood flow to the ovaries
- Increasing insulin sensitivity
- Reducing the number of ovarian cysts
- Decreasing insulin and blood glucose levels
- Making it easier to lose weight
- Reducing levels of cortisol, a steroid hormone that regulates your metabolism
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg also found acupuncture to be an effective treatment for PCOS. Participants in the study received electro-acupuncture treatment in the back of the knee and the abdominal muscles, as these areas correspond to the ovaries. During treatment, a low-frequency electrical charge was passed through the needles.
Study participants who received electro-acupuncture treatments experienced:
- A drop in male hormones
- More regular menstrual cycles
- Less acne
Is Acupuncture Treatment Painful?
If you feel a little squeamish about a treatment that involves the placement of multiple needles in your body, you’re not alone. Although acupuncture treatment looks as if it would be painful, the needles are so thin that you may only feel a slight pricking sensation.
Adding a current to acupuncture needles improves stimulation and can heighten the effects of treatments. Because the charge used in electro-acupuncture is so low, it doesn’t cause pain. You’ll probably only notice a slight vibration in the needles during an electro-acupuncture treatment.
Are you frustrated because your polycystic ovary syndrome symptoms don’t improve no matter what you do? Acupuncture offers a drug-free way to manage your symptoms and improve your health. We create treatment plans tailored to your individual needs and offer convenient hours. Call us today to schedule an appointment.