Acupuncture helps recover menstrual cycles in women with PCOS

Acupuncture is useful treatment to use for menstrual problems and I recommend it with herbs and supplements when treating PCOS. Here is a meta-analysis of several studies that concludes acupuncture does help treat PCOS.



A systematic review and meta-analysis was carried out to assess the clinical effectiveness of acupuncture in treating polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).


RCTs that compared either acupuncture with no/sham (placebo) acupuncture or a certain therapy with acupuncture added in the treatment of PCOS were included in the review. Measures of treatment effectiveness were the pooled odds ratios (OR) for women with PCOS having acupuncture compared with women in the control group for the recovery of menstrual cycles, standardized mean difference (SMD) for body mass index (BMI), fasting insulin (FINS), fasting plasma glucose (FPG), luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and the ratio of LH/FSH.


A total of nine RCTs (531 women) met criteria for inclusion into the systematic review. Using the random effects model, pooling of the effect estimates from all RCTs showed recovery of menstrual cycles (OR = 0.20, 95% CI: 0.09–0.41, P < 0.01), BMI (SMD = −0.63, 95% CI: −1.04 to −0.21, P = 0.04), and LH (SMD = −0.39, 95% CI: −0.65 to −0.12, P < 0.01) which favored the acupuncture group. No significant differences were observed for FINS, FPG, FSH and the ratio of LH/FSH between acupuncture and control groups (P > 0.05).


Acupuncture appears to significantly improve the recovery of the menstrual cycles and decrease the levels of BMI and LH in women with PCOS. However, the findings should be interpreted with caution due to the limited methodological quality of included RCTs.

1 Comment »

  1. In addition to these findings, a study also found that telectro-acupuncture and exercise reduced the activity of the sympathetic nervous system in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.

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