how does acupuncture help PCOS?
acupuncture affects endorphins which affect hormones
New research suggests that acupuncture may help PCOS by affecting endorphin levels, which in turn affect hormone levels to help ovulation and regulate menstrual cycles (Chen et al. 2019). The endorphins discussed in the study are beta-endorphins which have a role in reducing stress response and this ties in with previous research suggesting that acupuncture may help PCOS by reducing the physical effects of stress.
PCOS affects each woman differently but common ways that it affects fertility include reduced ovulation, hormone imbalance, hyperactive but inefficient ovaries, reduced insulin sensitivity and increased weight. Studies also suggest that acupuncture may increase insulin sensitivity and improve metabolism, and that these changes improve hormone balance and ovarian health. While not all studies show benefit the following acupuncture research on women with PCOS has shown…
acupuncture improves hormone balance, ovulation and ovarian health in PCOS
improved hormone balance, ovulation frequency, BMI and pregnancy rate (Xu & Zuo, 2018)
improved hormone balance and frequency of ovulation (Johansson et al. 2013)
reduced AMH (which is high in PCOS because the ovaries are hyperactive) and reduced ovarian size to normal (Leonhardt et al. 2015)
improved the efficiency of Clomid (Yu et al. 2018)
acupuncture improves insulin sensitivity and weight in PCOS
better than Metformin at improving menstrual regularity and reducing BMI with fewer adverse reactions (Zheng et al. 2013)
acupuncture plus metformin reduced weight and stabilised blood sugar more effectively than metformin alone (Firouzjaei et al. 2016)
animal study showed one acupuncture session improved insulin sensitivity in PCOS (Benrick et al. 2014)
acupuncture helps pregnancy rate in women with PCOS having IVF
improved pregnancy rate in women with PCOS having IVF and decreased risk of ovarian hyperstimulation (Jo & Lee, 2017)