According to a new study from the Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden, exercise and acupuncture could help ease the effect of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS affects up to 10% of the reproductive female population. The condition can hinder the production of female hormones and increase testosterone levels in the female body. Small cysts on the ovaries cause these changes as well as a reduction in ovulation which can lead to difficulty conceiving. Women with PCOS are also at an increased risk for obesity and diabetes.
The study involved three sets of women with PCOS. The first group was given monitors to measure heart rate and told to exercise three times a week. The second group received electro-acupuncture where low voltage electronic pulses are sent through the acupuncture needles. The final group, the control, was educated on the importance of healthy eating and exercise.
After four weeks, both the exercise and acupuncture group showed decreased testosterone levels compared to the control group. The patients who received the acupuncture reported, "their menstruation became more normal." With lowered testosterone levels and a more regulated menstrual cycle, the exercise / acupuncture regime could affect fertility in PCOS patients.
Source: American Journal of Physiology 2009