Acupuncture Treatment for Polycystic Ovaries

Polycystic ovaries is an increasingly common condition where numerous fluid filled cysts grow around the ovary. It is currently estimated that polycystic ovaries can be seen on ultrasound in 25% of women. This can prevent ovulation and make the menstrual cycle irregular (generally tending to be longer). Associated symptoms include excessive hair growth, weight gain and acne as there is imbalance in the male/female hormones in the body. It is also a common cause of infertility.

In Chinese medicine, this condition is often seen as the accumulation of dampness (unresolved fluids in the body) which can be caused by the motive force of the uterus (the kidney yang) being insufficient to resolve this dampness. As the dampness grows, it further weakens the yang, allowing more dampness to form and a vicious circle occurs. By tackling both the symptom (the dampness which shows in the cysts themselves) and the underlying cause, the weakness of kidney yang, effective treatment can be made.

A combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine is often the most effective method of treatment. Severe polycystic ovaries is a difficult and stubborn condition to treat. It may take up to six months of treatment before good progress is made. Dietary and lifestyle factors also play an important role in the treatment of this condition.

Case study 1

R, had been diagnosed with polycystic ovaries 3 years previous. Her menstrual cycle had been erratic for 10 years with her sometimes only having a period every 9 months. She had an increase in weight of 3 stone in the previous 2 years and on observation had increased hair growth. R was wishing to improve her cycle to become pregnant. She was currently considering western fertility drugs

She received acupuncture and herbs for 6 months during which time she had three periods, the most frequent she could remember, her weight stopped increasing and she felt better within herself. Over the next 6 months, her cycle became a more regular 40 days. R’s condition continued to improve and at the time of writing she is happily in the late stages of pregnancy.