Hormone levels and menstrual bleeding patterns in women with PCOS respond well to acupuncture and exercise, according to new research.
In a study by the the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, a group of women with PCOS were given acupuncture where the needles were stimulated both manually and with a weak electric current that mirrored muscular action.
“The study shows that both acupuncture and exercise reduce high levels of testosterone and lead to more regular menstruation,” said professor Elisabeth Stener-Victorin, who authored the study.
PCOS can cause severe hormonal imbalance. As a result, women with the condition frequently experience irregular ovulation and menstruation stemming from side effects of small immature egg follicles in the ovaries.
Among numerous other reactions, PCOS may cause the ovaries to create too much of the male hormone testosterone. Although small amounts of testosterone occur naturally in women, unhealthy levels can lead to excess facial and body hair as well as male pattern baldness and acne.
Current research suggests that acupuncture treatment may influence the production and circulation of hormones in the body. It also has an effect on endorphins, the ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain which are closely linked to keeping hormones in balance and enhancing mood.