Can Acupuncture Help Me Ovulate?
YES, Acupuncture has been proven to help stimulate ovulation even with a diagnosis of PCOS. In my fertility acupuncture clinic in Tampa, FL I specialize in helping women ovulate, especially if they have been diagnosed with PCOS. Let me walk you through a few of the many studies that show acupuncture can help to normalize your hormones and stimulate ovulation.
The need for an integrative approach
The problem is your regular doctor really only has 1 way to manage PCOS and it’s symptoms. Conventional treatment is centered around the use of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) to regulate menstrual cycles, protect against endometrial hyperplasia, and manage clinically evident androgen excess. Many women prefer to avoid OCPs due to concerns about risks and adverse effects, or simply because they desire a non-pharmacologic approach.
The problem here is you are not going to ovulate on birth control pills (that’s the whole point) and you’re not going to ovulate on your own if you have PCOS. So the conventional treatment is to try and stimulate ovulation with medications like Clomid or Letrozole. These can be effective at stimulating ovulation but this treatment approaches the importance of everything that leads up to a natural ovulation event.
How can Acupuncture Help Me Ovulate?
The greatest value is acupuncture is it’s ability to normalize your hormones and improve egg quality so when you ovulate on your own, it’s the healthiest egg possible. When you’re been diagnosed with PCOS it’s common to have irregular menstrual cycles and to find out you don’t ovulate on your own. You can use an ovulation prediction kit (OPK) or chart your basal body temperature (BBT) to get a more accurate idea of what’s going on. When your hormones are out of balance and your cycle is irregular it’s near impossible for your body to ovulate.
The good news
The good news is that Acupuncture has been PROVEN to improve menstrual frequency and to decrease circulating testosterone in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
One study in 2013 (PMID 23482444) found that after an average of 12 weeks of Acupuncture Treatment, circulating levels of all the Estrogen, DHEA and Testosterone metabolites were lower and Ovulation Frequency was higher.
Another study in 2011 (PMID 21816787) showed there was an improvement in pituitary hormones (LH & FSH and their ratio)
Another study in 2011 (PMID 20943753) showed that 16 weeks of electro-acupuncture improved menstrual frequency and decreased the levels of several sex steroids by ~30% at week 16.
What to expect during an acupuncture treatment?
First off, realize you’re going to need a series of treatments to normalize your hormones and get you ovulating. Acupuncture works best for PCOS when it’s done weekly for a series of 12-16 weeks.
Your acupuncturist will put 10-12 tiny hair thin pins in very specific places on your arms, legs and tummy. If you’re coming to Dr. Josh Hanson in Tampa, FL for fertility acupuncture, then he will also use something called Electro-Acupuncture to stimulate ovulation. This means we run a very gently electrical current on your tummy. It’s very relaxing and most people end up taking a short nap and wake up very refreshed.
The upside is there really no downside to fertility acupuncture – it will help to normalize your menstrual cycle, help you ovulate and help you to produce the healthiest eggs you can.