Acupuncture & Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Electro-acupuncture done regularly has displayed significant improvement on spontaneous ovulation in women with PCOS.

CONCLUSION: This finding indicates that wen-jing-tang is appropriate for use in treating PCOS in women with various constitutions (as determined by the matching theory of eight-principle pattern identification) in clinical practice and may prove to be a potent therapeutic agent with a wide therapeutic spectrum.

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of switching therapy to wen-jing-tang (unkei-to) from previous selected herbal preparations on endocrine levels and induction of ovulation in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Sixty-four anovulatory women diagnosed with PCOS were enrolled in the study. After Kampo diagnosis, subjects received matched Kampo preparations (43 cases: dang-gui-shao-yao-san, 21 cases: gui-zhi-fu-ling-wan) selected by the matching theory of eight-principle pattern identification and Kampo diagnosis based on concepts of the qi, blood, and fluids as the physiologic activity. Fifty-four women who failed to ovulate after an 8-week treatment were randomly allocated to continuation of treatment with the preceding Kampo prescription (continuation group, n = 27) or treatment with wen-jing-tang (switching group, n = 27). Plasma FSH, LH and estradiol levels were measured and ovulation rates were determined at the beginning and after an 8-week treatment with the preceding Kampo prescription, as well as after the subsequent 8-week treatment with the same preparation or wen-jing-tang. No decrease in mean plasma LH level was observed in the 54 women who failed to ovulate among the 64 treated with a Kampo preparation. After the 8-week treatment with wen-jing-tang, plasma LH levels were decreased by 58.2% (p < 0.0001) and 49.4% (p = 0.0005) in the groups switched from dang-gui-shao-yao-san and gui-zhi-fu-ling-wan, respectively. In the group switched from dang-gui-shao-yao-san, a tendency towards increase in plasma estradiol level was observed (1.51-fold, p = 0.055), which was significant compared with that in the group switched from gui-zhi-fu-ling-wan (p = 0.032). The ovulation rate with switching of treatment to wen-jing-tang was significantly higher (59.3%) than that with continued use of the same preparation (7.4%, p = 0.0036). This study confirmed that wen-jing-tang was effective in improving endocrine condition in the treatment of disturbances of ovulation in patients with PCOS without taking eight-principle pattern identification into consideration.

CONCLUSION: Repeated EA treatments induce regular ovulations in more than one third of the women with PCOS. The group of women with good effect had a less androgenic hormonal profile before treatment and a less pronounced metabolic disturbance compared with the group with no effect. For this selected group EA offers an alternative to pharmacological ovulation induction.

BACKGROUND: The present study was designed to evaluate if electro-acupuncture (EA) could affect oligo-/anovulation and related endocrine and neuroendocrine parameters in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

METHODS: Twenty-four women (between the ages of 24 and 40 years) with PCOS and oligo-/amenorrhea were included in this non-randomized, longitudinal, prospective study. The study period was defined as the period extending from 3 months before the first EA treatment, to 3 months after the last EA treatment (10-14 treatments), in total 8-9 months. The menstrual and ovulation patterns were confirmed by recording of vaginal bleedings and by daily registrations of the basal body temperature (BBT). Blood samples were collected within a week before the first EA, within a week after the last EA and 3 months after EA.

RESULTS: Nine women (38%) experienced a good effect. They displayed a mean of 0.66 ovulations/woman and month in the period during and after the EA period compared to a mean of 0.15 before the EA period (p=0.004). Before EA, women with a good effect had a significantly lower body-mass index (BMI) (p<0.001), waist-to-hip circumference ratio (WHR) (p=0.0058), serum testosterone concentration (p=0.0098), serum testosterone/sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) ratio (p=0.011) and serum basal insulin concentration (p=0.0054), and a significantly higher concentration of serum SHBG (p=0.040) than did those women with no effect.