Chinese Medicine and acupuncture is used to treat a wide variety of menstrual/hormonal, endocrine and fertility issues. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an increasingly common problem affecting approximately 1 in 15 women and can cause fertility problems, menstrual issues as well as complex health issues such as diabetes.
Researchers from the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical College recently conducted a study examing the effects of acupuncture on PCOS symptoms/causes vs. the western medical treatment, Metformin. Researchers recruited 86 women diagnosed with PCOS and randomly assigned them to an abdominal acupuncture group and an oral metformin group.
Acupuncture treatment was offered daily for 6 months and Metformin was prescribed at 250mg 3x/day for one week followed by 500mg 3x/day for the duration of the study. Researchers used various measures including BMI, menstrual frequency, the homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), among others including cholesterol, sugar levels, etc. Measurements were taken at the beginning of the study and at 6 months.
Researchers found that the acupuncture group and the metformin group both had positive changes in all viable measures. They concluded, however, that the acupuncture group showed "considerable advantages over the metformin group in terms of reduced Body Mass Index and Waist to Hip Ratio and increases in menstrual frequency (p<0.05)" with few adverse effects.
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