Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects five to ten percent of women in North America and is the leading cause of ovulatory based infertility. Women with PCOS have high levels of male hormones (androgens) which interfere with the normal production of female hormones such as estrogen. This results in the ovaries filling with cysts or creating immature follicles that are unable to generate eggs.
Along with reduced fertility women with PCOS are at a heightened risk for:
• Type 2 Diabetes
• Heart Disease
• Some forms of cancer
Symptoms of PCOS:
It’s important to note that some women with PCOS have no symptoms, however, most women will experience some or all of the following symptoms:
• Irregular or absent periods
• Increased fat stores
• Slow metabolism
• Excess facial and body hair
• Loss of head hair
• Thick skin
• High lipid levels in the blood
• Disturbances of sugar metabolism.
The Chinese Medicine approach to PCOS is to identify and treat the underlying condition that is causing the hormonal imbalance as well as to alleviate symptoms. While every case is different, the general rule of thumb is 3-6 months of treatment to rebalance hormones and regulate the menstrual cycle naturally to optimize healthy egg production for natural or medicated conception. Acupuncture treatments are typically performed weekly and Chinese herbal formulas are added to further balance the body.