Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common disorders women experience today. It can affect as many as one in three women in the UK. It is a multifaceted disorder which ranges in severity in each person. Ovaries become enlarged and have fluid-filled follicles (or sacs) that surround the egg.
What are the symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome?
The higher than normal levels of certain hormones caused by PCOS can affect the development and release of eggs during ovulation. As a result, many women’s menstrual cycles become long or irregular and their ovulations are infrequent. They can develop excess facial or body hair or acne, as well as thinning hair and hair loss from the head. The syndrome is also linked with increased insulin resistance and diabetes plus other metabolic disorders, as well as pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia.
Not all women with polycystic ovary syndrome will present the same way or have the same symptoms as it can vary in severity in each person. Some will have mild or no symptoms apart from irregular periods, so it can often be difficult to diagnose.
What causes PCOS?
The jury is out on what is the exact cause of PCOS. Stress is said to be a factor, as are hormonal imbalances.
Conventional treatments for PCOS may concentrate on reducing the many symptoms and factors that exacerbate the syndrome. This may be support to lose weight, as well as strategies to reduce stress. Contraceptive pills may be prescribed to reduce body hair and acne. Diabetes medication may be offered to treat Type 2 diabetes and reduce PCOS symptoms.
If the woman wants to get pregnant, fertility medication may be prescribed. Surgery is the last resort for some, where portions of the ovaries may be removed, which can (in some cases) kick-start ovulation.
Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine can help
Research has demonstrated that acupuncture can increase ovulation and reduce the level of male hormones that cause excess hair on the body and hair loss on the head. In addition, acupuncture works to harmonise the nervous system, calming or stimulating depending on what is required for a balanced state of health and wellbeing.
A course of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can also help with insulin sensitivity, as well as improve hormonal balance.
I have PCOS. Will I be able to get pregnant?
Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and lifestyle tweaks can make a significant difference to your fertility health. At Cambourne Acupuncture we design a treatment regimen specifically designed to support your fertility goals and we have had great success with women who have previously been unable to fall pregnant.
Vicki’s experience of getting pregnant during treatment at our clinic
“We had been trying for three years to conceive. We didn’t think we’d have any problems as I had fallen pregnant the first time after only a couple of months. After many tests it was discovered that I had PCOS.
I went through a whole host of emotions from guilt and heartache to frustration and anger. After searching for answers, I found Jane’s website and phoned her. Within the first consultation, I found Jane so empathetic and was amazed that for the first time a professional said to me ‘I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to conceive again’. I followed all Jane’s advice and she was a constant support.
I would recommend Jane without hesitation. She always provided me with consistent advice and I’m so thankful to her for all her support before and during my pregnancy.”
To find out more about how Acupuncture can help treat the causes and symptoms of PCOS, visit the British Council of Acupuncture’ information page.
If you have any issues and want to talk to us about treatment in our clinic, take advantage of our FREE first consultation you can book here.