Dr. H. Singh, ND
Management of PCOS Mediated Infertility and Associated Symptoms with Updated Acupuncture Protocols
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) has become the leading cause of menstrual irregularities and anovulation as it is estimated to affect 15% of the reproductive aged population. Contrary to commonly discussed interventions, lifestyle modifications are meant to be the first line therapy. In addition to management of PCOS with insulin sensitizing agents, aromatase inhibitors, or gonadotropins research now demonstrates that the application of updated fertility acupuncture protocol can help to correct many of the underlying issues found in PCOS.
Studies have found that the application of fertility acupuncture can help to reduce elevated androgen hormones. Most commonly testosterone and DHEAs hormones may be elevated in Patients diagnosed with PCOS. Various studies have now confirmed that serum testosterone can be lowered with fertility acupuncture.
Decreasing sensitivity to insulin, a hormone secreted from the pancreas, is characteristic of PCOS. It has been shown to be one of the underlying mechanisms by which androgen hormones are further elevated and anovulation can occur. Application of newer protocols for PCOS have shown improved insulin sensitivity and corrected lipid metabolism.
Numerous studies have now demonstrated that fertility acupuncture may be beneficial in restoring cycle regularity and promoting normal ovulatory function.
Management of all three problems listed above consequently may help explain the increase in ovulatory function, clinical pregnancy rates and on-going pregnancy rates as a result of the fertility acupuncture.
There are numerous mechanisms that have been observed that can help explain the improvements in fertility rates and symptoms associated with PCOS:
Increased P450arom activity: this enzyme converts androgen hormones to different types of estrogen. Testosterone is converted to estradiol, androstenedione to estrone and DHEAs to estriol. The decrease in androgen hormones can help to reduce hirsutism, menstrual cramp severity and may help reduce the risk of miscarriage.
Normalize Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) levels: this hormone is significantly elevated in patients with PCOS and this is problematic because it can arrest follicle maturation thereby reducing ovulation rates or completely stopping ovulation from occurring. The updated fertility acupuncture protocols have been observed to help normalize AMH levels in patients with PCOS
Increased B-endorphin production: increasing B-endorphins in the body as well as the central nervous system has been shown to modulate the production of FSH and LH hormones. The increase in these endorphins in Patients with PCOS undergoing fertility acupuncture has been suggested to help increase FSH levels (supporting follicle maturation) and supporting production of estrogen and progesterone levels
Upregulation of IRS-1/PI3K/GLUT4 signalling pathway: Subjects receiving fertility acupuncture demonstrated improved GLUT4 transporter expression to help move glucose in to cells.
Suppressing chronic inflammation: fertility acupuncture points have additionally been observed to reduce TNF-a and interleukin-6 levels and may help reduce chronic low-grade inflammation
This article is being shared as educational content and is in no way a replacement for medical advice or medical care, it is advised that anyone concerned about their Health should speak with their Naturopathic Doctor. Please discuss with your healthcare provider and only make changes to your medications regimen if recommended by your doctor and under their guidance and supervision.