Acupuncture For PCOS
Between 5% and 30% of women have characteristics of a condition called PCOS, or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. The span is so large because the condition often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because of its variety of symptoms. Patients often turn to hormonal drugs with many side effects. Now doctors say they may have a drug-free option.
FOR TEN YEARS – GRACE AND JOHN ECCLESTONE WERE HAPPY TO JUST HAVE EACH OTHER.
“If John and I were fortunate to have a child that would be great. If we didn’t, that was okay, too.”
SINCE SHE WAS A TEENAGER, GRACE HAS BATTLED POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME – A HORMONAL IMBALANCE THAT LEADS TO WEIGHT GAIN, EXCESSIVE HAIR GROWTH, IRREGULAR MENSTRUAL CYCLES AND DIFFICULTY GETTING PREGNANT.
Abegael Lorico, M.D.
OB/GYN, Medical Acupuncturist
“There is actually no specific treatment for that. When a patient comes to you, she comes in for a particular complaint.”
AN ANCIENT THERAPY MAY PROVE TO BE THE ANSWER FOR THIS STILL OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD CONDITION.
DOCTOR ABEGAEL LORICO CONDUCTED A SMALL STUDY OF ACUPUNCTURE’S BENEFITS. HER RESULTS WERE ENCOURAGING.
Abegael Lorico, M.D.
“If you define success as regulating the periods, I would say that’s five out of five.”
LONG TIME SUFFERER TINA MAHSEREJIAN JOINED THE STUDY.
“I was really skeptical. I was really low you know, what can it do for me?”
THE ANSWER WAS – A LOT!
“My weight stabilized, I started losing a little bit of weight. Mentally I was more stable. I didn’t have as many headaches.”
ONE PATIENT’S SUCCESS EVEN SHOCKED DOCTOR LORICO.
Abegael Lorico, M..D.
“I did not believe it! (laugh)”
YES – GRACE EVEN GOT PREGNANT!
“I don’t think that I really grasped the importance for me of becoming a mom until I actually was pregnant. And then I said – Oh, wow, this is really great.”
AND NOW, THE ONCE QUIET HOUSE FOR TWO – IS FULL OF NEW LIFE.
A LARGER SWEDISH STUDY OF 24 PATIENTS FOUND 38% EXPERIENCED A “GOOD EFFECT” FROM TREATMENT. DOCTOR LORICO SUGGESTS YOU FIND AN ACUPUNCTURIST WHO IS EXPERIENCED IN TREATING WOMEN WITH GYNECOLOGICAL COMPLICATIONS.
BACKGROUND: Between 5 percent and 30 percent of all women have some characteristic of polycystic ovarian syndrome, also known as PCOS. It is believed to be the most common hormonal abnormality in women of reproductive age and is the most common reason for infertility. PCOS is considered a syndrome because it has a number of unrelated symptoms. For this reason, PCOS often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Symptoms include an irregular menstrual cycle, problems with weight gain, excessive hair growth, and abnormal blood levels including insulin and blood fat. Hypertension is also a common symptom. In many women, the first signs begin around age 12 or 13 when they first get their period. Women with PCOS often see their doctor for specific symptoms. For example, they may seek medical attention because of abnormal periods in which case the birth control pill may be prescribed. Many women with PCOS have to go through other hormonal therapies when they want to get pregnant. This may or may not prove successful.
PCOS is caused by inability of the body to respond to insulin. This leads to increased insulin production. High levels of insulin cause the ovaries to produce large amounts of testosterone, which may prevent the ovaries from releasing an egg each month.
AN ANCIENT THERAPY: Instead of prescribing hormonal drug therapy, Abegael Lorico, M.D., an obstetrician/gynecologist as well as a medical acupuncturist, is looking at the benefits of acupuncture. She places the fine needles in areas related to the gynecological system. The idea is to stimulate meridians in the body related to the reproductive organs in an effort to regulate them.
Dr. Lorico conducted a study on five women. The study set out to regulate the activity of the ovaries. All five women in the study had their menstrual cycles become regulated. One patient became pregnant within about four weeks of beginning the weekly therapy. Patients report a reduction in pain and an improvement in weight control, as well as an increase in energy. These latter improvements were not objectively measured for the study purposes.
A larger study was conducted by Swedish researchers. This group used electrical stimulation, a type of acupuncture, to induce activity by the ovaries. They report in the journal Acta Obstetrica et Gynecologica Scandanavica that 38 percent of the 24 women experienced a “good effect.” A good effect was defined as repeated ovulations or pregnancy during treatment or for the three months following treatment. Researchers say the number of ovulations per woman per month had averaged 0.15 for the three months before the treatment. After treatment it averaged 0.66 ovulations per month.
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