How Acupuncture and Nutrition Improve Infertility among Women with PCOS
If you are a reproductive woman struggling with infertility, you have probably come across polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) at some point in your life. The reason is that the disorder affects how your ovary functions. It is also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome. According to statistics, it affects 1 out of every 10 women of childbearing age. One sign associated with this disorder is that cysts or small fluid-filled sacs build up around the ovaries.
However, all women who have this condition don’t have cyst around their ovaries. Unfortunately, the cause of the disease remains unknown. If you don’t treat the condition early enough, it results in infertility and other related complications. Once you have the ailment, you won’t experience ovulation. Therefore, it is important to diagnose and treat it early. That being said, this article will show you unique and effective ways of managing it.
Hormones and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Most times, when you have the ovarian disease, your hormone is out of balance. This, on the other hand, affects the ovaries. Oftentimes, you notice that your period does not come out when it ought to or not getting in. This is simply because the hormones that affect your menstrual cycle are tied to your ability to bear a child.
These hormones are discussed below:
- Insulin: It manages the blood sugar levels. Well, your body cannot react to insulin the way it should when you have the disorder
- Progesterone: Its function is to fluctuate your mensuration. When the disease sets in, your body may not have enough of it. The implication is that you may miss your period for a long time or you may not be able to accurately tell the next time to expect your menstrual period
- Androgens: This plays a pivotal role during puberty and fertilization. Much as many health experts tend to refer to androgens as male hormones, women have them too. Nonetheless, the presence of this ovarian disease leads to the excess of the androgenic cells in the body of a woman. This is a big challenge!
Symptoms of PCOS
It is noteworthy that not all women have these symptoms. However, where the symptoms exist, they vary from mild to severe. More often than not, some women have menstrual problems and are not able to conceive. Sometimes, patients present with both of them.
That being said, the most common symptoms of the disease include:
- Irregular or no period at all
- Failure to ovulate or irregular ovulation culminates in inability to get pregnant
- Noticeable weight loss
- Oily skin or acne
- Excessive hair growth (also known as hirsutism)
- Sometimes, there is hair loss
Managing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
While health experts recommend several PCOS treatments, this guide will focus on a technique many women of childbearing age don’t seem to pay attention to.
- Eating the Right Diet
As a woman of childbearing age, you probably didn’t know that diet positively affects the ovarian disease. Yes, it does! To be precise, your diet affects your weight and insulin production and resistance. Because insulin plays a key role in managing the ailment, maintaining appropriate insulin levels should matter to you. Studies have shown that more than half of women with PCOS develop diabetes or prediabetes before 40. In clear terms, there is a connection between how your body processes insulin and diabetes. More and more researchers have indicated that what we eat has a way of affecting the polycystic ovary syndrome. Therefore, you should focus on these three diets to help you manage the ovarian disorder:
- A low glycemic index diet, such as legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, starchy food, low-carb foods, etc.
- Anti-inflammatory diet, including virgin olive oil, leafy green, berries, fatty fish, olive oil, etc.
- The DASH diet. DASH means Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is specially formulated to lower the risk of developing heart diseases. It is rich in veggies, fruits, poultry, fish, whole grain, and low-fat dairy produce.
A traditional therapy used in ancient China to treat various ailments, acupuncture still finds its usefulness in Western medicine, including its use for treating polycystic ovary syndrome. While the traditional therapy has held sway in China and other Eastern countries for several centuries, many Americans are only beginning to embrace the remedy for treating a wide range of ailments. In fact, it is heartwarming to see a number of health insurance providers incorporate the Eastern treatment in their wide spectrum of services. This simply means that millions of Americans now have access to traditional therapy.
Furthermore, the ancient therapeutic remedy is non-invasive and has little or no side effects. As a result, lots of practitioners use it to directly treat the ovarian disease or as an adjunctive treatment. Although there are some studies in the public domain that discussed its efficacy in this regard, they are not enough. In one study, researchers examined the effect of manual acupuncture on infertile women with polycystic ovary syndrome. The participants were 124 childbearing women suffering from the ailment. In addition to other drugs, women in the acupuncture group received the traditional therapy according to the TCM principles. In the end, the researchers concluded that that group has higher fertility outcomes (live birth rates and clinical pregnancy rate).
In a nutshell, this article explains what polycystic ovary syndrome is and how you can use acupuncture and balanced diet to manage it. While the traditional therapy regulates the hormones and ovarian blood flow, certain diets affect your weight and insulin production and resistance. From the foregoing, women of childbearing age who have the ailment can now turn to healthy meals and the Eastern therapeutic remedy to expedite their chances of getting pregnant. In some cases, health practitioners combine acupuncture, healthy nutrition and assisted reproductive technology to speed up the positive outcomes (live birth rates and clinical pregnancy rate). To learn more about how other women overcame infertility with the traditional remedy and healthy nutrition, please feel free to contact our specialists now!
- Wang Q, Deng H, Cheng K et al. Manual acupuncture for the infertile female with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): study protocol for a randomized sham-controlled trial. 2019 11; 20 (1): 564.
- Overview: polycystic ovary syndrome. UK’s National Health Service. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/polycystic-ovary-syndrome-pcos/. Accessed January 27, 2022.
- Smith L. What is polycystic ovary syndrome? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265309. Revised January 5, 2018. Accessed January 27, 2022.
- Pathak N. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). https://www.webmd.com/women/what-is-pcos. Revised September 13, 2021. Accessed January 26, 2022.
- Wu J, Chen D, Liu N. Effectiveness of acupuncture in polycystic ovary syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 May 29; 99 (22).
- Polycystic ovary syndrome. US Department of Health & Human Services. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/polycystic-ovary-syndrome. Accessed January 27, 2022.
- Yunxia G, Jun L, Pengying Z, et al. Effect of acupuncture combined with Western medicine on hormone level and ovarian blood flow in infertile women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Chinese Journal of Interactive Medicine. 2018; 22 (25): 3588 – 3590.
- Acupuncture for PCOS infertility produces superior outcomes. Healthcare Medicine Institute. https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1899-acupuncture-for-pcos-infertility-produces-superior-outcomes. Revised September 26, 2018. Accessed January 26, 2022.
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