This paper aims to provide a literature review on evaluating the efficacy of acupuncture therapy in the treatment of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) by reviewing clinical trials; randomised and non-randomised and observational studies on PCOS. The paper will also determine the possible mechanism of acupuncture treatment in PCOS, limitations of recruited studies and suggest further improvements in future studies.
A comprehensive literature search was conducted through the databases Medline, PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane, AMED (Allied and Complementary Medicine), NCCAM (The National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine) to identify relevant monographs.
Four studies were recruited. Several studies showed that acupuncture significantly increases beta-endorphin levels for periods up to 24 h and may have regulatory effect on FSH, LH and androgen. beta-endorphin increased levels secondary to acupuncture affects the hyperthalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis through promoting the release of ACTH through stimulation of its precursor pro-opiomelanocortin synthesis.
All available acupuncture studies on human subjects with PCOS from June 1970 to June 2009.
Studies not meeting the inclusion criteria, published in languages other than English or animal studies.
Acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment to PCOS as the adverse effects of pharmacologic interventions are not expected by women with PCOS. Acupuncture therapy may have a role in PCOS by: increasing of blood flow to the ovaries, reducing of ovarian volume and the number of ovarian cysts, controlling hyperglycaemia through increasing insulin sensitivity and decreasing blood glucose and insulin levels, reducing cortisol levels and assisting in weight loss and anorexia. However, well-designed, randomised controlled trials are needed to elucidate the true effect of acupuncture on PCOS.
"Frequently in clinic, women have menstrual irregularities that stem from a diagnosis of PCOS. A recent literature review42 of reports of acupuncture use for PCOS found four studies that addressed this subject, although no randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were found. One study led by Stener-Victorin et al43 found that the “dose” of acupuncture influenced the size of the effect. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acupuncture and other modalities of Chinese/East Asian medicine have been used to treat women's health for many centuries. Gynecology specialties focus particularly on menstrual and reproductive disorders. Both the adoption of the use of acupuncture outside Asia, and the incorporation of scientific analysis in Asia have challenged biomedical conceptions of what can be achieved with this treatment method. The scale of research activity in relation to acupuncture and women's health has increased over the last 20 years.
This review aims to explore the research evidence in relation to acupuncture use for women's reproductive disorders, focusing on both clinical findings and experimental research on acupuncture's mechanisms of action in relation to women's health.
A narrative literature search was undertaken using searches of electronic databases and manual searches of journals and textbooks. The search included all literature published prior to June 2013. The literature was assessed as to the nature of the study it was reporting and findings synthesized into a commentary.
For acupuncture's mechanism of action the search resulted in 114 relevant documents; in relation to clinical reports on the use of acupuncture for women's health 204 documents were found and assessed.
There is preliminary data indicating acupuncture may improve menstrual health and coping for women experiencing delays falling pregnant. There is experimental data showing that acupuncture can influence female reproductive functioning, although the actual mechanisms involved are not yet clarified. Further well-conducted clinical research would benefit our understanding of the usefulness of acupuncture to women's health.
International Journal of Women's Health 03/2014; 6(1):313-325. DOI:10.2147/IJWH.S38969
"Stener-Victorin et al. demonstrated positive effects of EA on the pulsatility indices (PIs) of IVF patients and further found higher pregnancy rates (45.9% versus 28.3%; P < 0.05) in the EA group compared with a group that used conventional analgesics during oocyte aspiration . In addition, some authors have confirmed that acupuncture also may increase blood flow to the ovaries and reduce ovarian volume and the number of ovarian cysts in polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) . Stener-Victorin et al. reported that low frequency EA was effective in modulating the ovarian blood flow. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: About 10-15% of couples have difficulty conceiving at some point in their reproductive lives and thus have to seek specialist fertility care. One of the most commonly used treatment options is in vitro fertilization (IVF) and its related expansions. Despite many recent technological advances, the average IVF live birth rate per single initiated cycle is still only 30%. Consequently, there is a need to find new therapies to promote the efficiency of the procedure. Many patients have turned to complementary and alternative medical (CAM) treatments as an adjuvant therapy to improve their chances of success when they undergo IVF treatment. At present, several CAM methods have been used in infertile couples with IVF, which has achieved obvious effects. However, biologically plausible mechanisms of the action of CAM for IVF have not been systematically reviewed. This review briefly summarizes the current progress of the impact of CAM on the outcomes of IVF and introduces the mechanisms.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2014; 2014:419425. DOI:10.1155/2014/419425 · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of the present study is to investigate whether acupuncture could significantly enhance the efficacy of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) in treating polycystic ovarian syn-drome (PCOS) rats by testosterone propionate. Forty female Sprague–Dawley rats were equally divided into normal control group (Group A), model group (Group B), CHM com-bined with acupuncture group (Group C) and CHM group (Group D), with ten rats in each group. A rat model of PCOS was established by single injection of testosterone propionate at 9th day after birth. After treatment, the levels of total testosterone (TT), sex hormone bind-ing globulin (SHBG), androstenedione, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) in the serum of rats were examined with ELISA and the peroxisome prolifera-tor-activated receptor gamma (PPARG) mRNA expression in ovaries of the rats were meas-ured by real-time quantitative PCR. The serum LH/FSH, free androgen index (FAI) and androstenedione levels were eminently lower and PPARG mRNA expression in the ovaries of the rats in Groups A, C and D were significantly higher than those of Group B (P<0.05). There was no significant difference of serum LH/FSH levels between Groups C and D (P>0.05). However, the serum FAI and androstenedione levels were markedly lower and PPARG mRNA expression in the ovaries of the rats in Group C was significantly higher than those of Group D (P<0.05). Acupuncture treatment could significantly enhance the efficacy of CHM in rats with PCOS.
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