PCOS

Acupuncture Offers Natural Relief for PCOS

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a very common endocrine disorder affecting as many as ten percent of women of childbearing age. I frequently treat PCOS in my Decatur, GA acupuncture clinic.

With PCOS the ovaries create many follicles each month without producing an egg. This lack of ovulation makes PCOS one of the most common causes of infertility among women. Other common symptoms of PCOS include missed periods (often for months at a time) or very heavy bleeding. PCOS can also lead to acne and high blood pressure. In some women PCOS can produce elevated androgen hormones levels--including testosterone, resulting in abnormal facial and body hair growth. Some women may develop ovarian cysts and may experience excessive weight gain--despite diet measures and exercise.

The severity of the condition can range from slightly irregular periods to having most or all of the symptoms listed above. Many women discover they have PCOS when trying to become pregnant and discovering they are not ovulating. Western treatment for PCOS can include birth control pills to regulate the cycle, Metformin for insulin resistance, statins for cholesterol and blood pressure medication.

The good news is that acupuncture is an effective treatment for PCOS. Recent research has found acupuncture effective for normalizing hormone levels leading to menstrual regularity, ovulation pattern regularity, and improved overall health. With regard to fertility, research as found that acupuncture with patients who have PCOS resulted in increased pregnancy rates, regulated hormonal secretions, normalized basal body temperature patterns, and increased embryo survival rates.

There are many things that you can do to manage symptoms of PCOS naturally:

  • If you are overweight a 5-10% reduction in weight can dramatically help regulate cycles.
  • My patients receive a unique acupuncture protocol designed specifically to address their specific symptoms and health history.
  • Many women with PCOS have some degree of insulin resistance so it is important to adopt a low glycemic index diet that is based on plenty of vegetables, protein and healthy fats. You must reduce, and ideally eliminate, your intake of refined carbohydrates such as bread and pasta; juices and soda; and sugar. Yes sugar.

Do you have PCOS? Are you ready to restore your hormonal balance? Are you trying to get pregnant and want to ovulate naturally? Call today to schedule your first appointment!

Acupuncture and fertility: When should I start receiving acupuncture?

I get this question a lot at my Decatur, GA acupuncture clinic. The answer depends on several factors. I will break it down for women going through natural cycles, for women going through IVF cycles and for male partners.

For women trying to get pregnant naturally the timeline is influenced by any underlying conditions that may be impacting fertility such as endometriosis, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, blockage of the fallopian tubes, PCOS and other ovulatory disorders, diminished ovarian reserves, etc. The amount of time it may take to resolve these conditions varies on the nature of the condition. The minimum amount of time will likely be 3 months of regular acupuncture and herbal therapy. For women with no known underlying conditions I still recommend at least 3 months of regular acupuncture to regulate the menstrual cycle (and therefore the hormones).

If you are considering IUI or IVF I recommend women start receiving acupuncture at least 6 weeks prior to starting the IUI/IVF process to regulate hormones and address any underlying issues. Sometimes women become pregnant naturally during this time! There are many research articles showing benefit to acupuncture with IVF. You can read more about acupuncture and IVF here.

Approximately 40% of infertility will have a male factor diagnosis. Low sperm counts can be due to environmental pollutants, certain pharmaceuticals, age, chronic disease, constriction and heat. Unlike women who are born with all of their eggs men are continually creating new sperm. It take about 3 months for sperm to fully mature so having acupuncture during this time can help improve sperm counts.

Wondering what to expect in your case? Call 404-695-0905 to schedule a free phone consultation!