Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 5-10 percent of all fertile women and is associated with anovulation/oligoovulation, hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovaries. Pharmacological treatment is often effective but associated with unwanted side effects. Acupuncture treatments have been shown to improve menstrual bleeding patterns and ovulation as well as hyperandrogenism, without side effects.
In one study, sixteen weeks of electroacupuncture treatments resulted in increased regularity of menstrual cycles as well as lower testosterone levels. When electro-acupuncture is used, acupuncture needles are attached to a device that produces continuous electric impulses. For the study, needles were placed in participants' abdomen and legs (at points said to be associated with the ovaries) and stimulated with a low-frequency electrical charge.
Studies on the use of acupuncture for PCOS also suggest that there is a low rate of associated adverse events, no increased risk of multiple pregnancies, and that it is inexpensive. Further research is needed on what could be a valuable treatment for this condition.