Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments are popular with many women who have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). CAM treatments may include acupuncture, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) herbs, and mindfulness practices such as meditation.
Some women claim that one CAM treatment or another reduces their PCOS symptoms or improves fertility. However, most CAM treatments have not been studied in rigorous clinical trials to establish their safety and effectiveness. Some CAM therapies may cause dangerous interactions with medications or other health conditions.
If you choose to try one or more CAM therapies, it is important to maintain the traditional drug regimen established by your doctor. These treatments have been proven effective in rigorous, scientific trials. It is also vital to check with your doctor before beginning a CAM regimen so that they can warn you about any potential interactions and correctly interpret any side effects.
What does it involve?
At this time, acupuncture is the only CAM therapy that has been studied in clinical trials as treatment for PCOS or infertility.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practice that has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of illnesses. During an acupuncture treatment, you will lie still on a table. A trained acupuncturist or TCM practitioner will insert fine needles into the skin or connective tissue just beneath the skin. The needles are left in the skin for up to 30 minutes. Different regions of the skin are targeted during acupuncture depending on the condition being treated. The practitioner may gently twist or move the needles. Heat or electricity may be applied to the needles. Acupuncture is usually painless.
Women try CAM treatments to reduce PCOS symptoms and improve fertility.
Most CAM therapies have not been rigorously tested in clinical trials. Acupuncture has shown mixed results in studies.
Herbal supplements and probiotics are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Their safety and effectiveness has not been evaluated. The strength and purity of the ingredients may vary from brand to brand or batch to batch.
Some CAM treatments can cause serious interactions with medications. Some treatments may exacerbate health conditions.
Health insurance may not cover CAM therapies. Some CAM treatments can be expensive.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
The physiological basis of complementary and alternative medicines for polycystic ovary syndrome – American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Current evidence of acupuncture on polycystic ovarian syndrome – Gynecological Endocrinology
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