Acupuncture promising for infertility in PCOS

Source: Medical Observer, Rada Rouse, April 10th 2009
ACUPUNCTURE may be useful in combating infertility among women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Australian research suggests.


In preliminary results from the world’s first randomised controlled trial of acupuncture for PCOS, most of the treated women (aged 18 to 35) restored their menstrual cycle and several became pregnant.

Around 108 women from Sydney and from Guangzhou, China, all of whom had no periods, were randomised to true or sham acupuncture.

Chief investigator Dr Danforn Lim, research medical scientist at the Chinese Medicine Clinical Research Centre, Liverpool Hospital, NSW, said 70% of the women had their periods return for three consecutive months.

“Interestingly, nine patients [in China] went from having no periods to getting their periods back during treatment and then falling pregnant,” he said.

One Australian patient in an earlier pilot study also became pregnant despite the patients being warned to use contraception because some acupuncture points should be avoided in pregnant women.

The endpoint of the trial was restoration of menstruation and lowering the LH/FSH ratio as it would be premature to make pregnancy an endpoint, Dr Lim said.

The early study results were presented at the annual scientific meeting of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in Auckland last week.