Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 5-10% of women in North America and is the leading cause of infertility. Women with PCOS have high levels of male hormones (androgens), which play a role in blocking the release of the egg from the follicle. As a result, the ovaries fill with cysts or create immature follicles that are unable to generate eggs. In addition, high levels of androgens can lead to acne, excessive body hair, male pattern baldness, and weight gain.
PCOS carries several health risk factors including:
- Increased risk of Type II diabetes
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Unfavorable lipid patterns (usually high triglycerides)
- Low bone density
The good news is that PCOS is highly responsive to changes in diet, weight loss, and exercise. For some women, a low glycemic diet, weight loss of 5-10% (if they are overweight), and an exercise program may restore regular ovulation. In addition, acupuncture 2-3 times per week can help regulate your hormones and support ovulation.
Research shows that acupuncture two or more times a week can:
- Facilitate weight loss
- Increase insulin sensitivity
- Regulate endocrine and metabolic disturbances
- Increase endorphins
- Improve blood flow to the ovaries
Exercise and stress reduction are very important for controlling PCOS. For tips on stress reduction click here.