Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

What is PCOS?

Several ailments affect women. Polycystic ovary syndrome, also known as PCOS, is one of them. PCOS is an endocrine disorder characterized by infertility, insulin resistance, obesity, and cardiovascular problems (Patel, 2018). PCOS affects 6-12% of women of reproductive age in the US and is one of the most common causes of female infertility (CDC, 2020). 

What are the symptoms of pcos? 

 Common symptoms of the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) include Cushing’s Syndrome, acne, obesity, type-2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and hyperpigmentation in the skin of the neck, thighs, armpits, and breasts (Rosenfield & Ehrmann, 2016). Additionally, PCOS causes an irregular menstrual cycle, depression, and other emotional disorders (Wang et al., 2021). 

HOw does PCOS Occur? 

On a biological level, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) occurs as a disruption to normal ovarian function due to excess androgen production (Rosenfield & Ehrmann, 2016). Androgens are a group of sex hormones that reside within the female body in small quantities. Hyperandrogenism, or the high production of androgens in the female body, can lead to numerous cyst formations in the ovarian follicles due to hormonal imbalances (Cleveland Clinic, 2021). Ovarian cysts disrupt the menstrual cycle, causing difficult pregnancy or infertility (Patel, 2018).   

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What are the causes of pcos? 

Numerous factors can contribute to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), many of them resulting from lifestyle errors and genetics. Lifestyle errors include deliberate and accidental chemical exposures to pesticides, pollutants, household cleaning agents, and cosmetics. The culprits behind chemically-induced reproductive issues can be products containing endocrine disruptors such as phthalates, parabens, metals, benzophenones, etc. (Patel, 2018). Prolonged exposure to said pollutants and chemicals can induce female reproductive ailments and eventually lead to PCOS. 

What are the causes of pcos in traditional chinese medicine (TCM)?  

Traditional Chinese Medicine is a way of diagnosing and treating ailments on the belief that the body’s vital energy, Qi, flows among the channels or meridians to keep one’s health in balance (NCI, 2022). TCM views PCOS as an imbalance of Qi and Blood circulation during the female menstrual cycle, creating blockages of free-flowing energy, leading to stagnation (Zhu et al., 2018).  

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What Can TRaditional chinese medicine (TCM) do to treat pcos?

Traditional Chinese Medicine utilizes numerous natural methods of healing ailments within patients, such as acupuncture, traditional Chinese herbs, moxibustion, and cupping. Frequently used TCM modalities to treat PCOS include acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbs. In an experiment done by Ma et al., researchers gathered that combining acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbs can produce curative effects on animals diagnosed with PCOS by creating a balance in the hormones that induce ovarian cyst production (2012). A study conducted by Liao et al. found that the most commonly prescribed traditional Chinese herbal formula was Jia Wei Xiao Yao San (JWXYS). It is also widely used to treat anxiety, premenstrual tension, and infertility (2018). 

Current Western medications for the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have harsh side effects and moderate efficacy in controlling symptoms or preventing further complications. As a result, TCM is a highly sought-out treatment alternative for PCOS, as more than 70% of PCOS patients have utilized TCM at least once throughout their ailment (Shen et al., 2021). 

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At Rapha Acupuncture in Newport Beach, we are a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) clinic specializing in women’s health and can help you design the best treatment plan for PCOS! By using traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) modalities customized to your symptoms, including acupuncture and traditional Chinese herbs, Rapha Acupuncture provides a natural and holistic solution for PCOS. 

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (2020). PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and Diabetes, Diabetes, https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/pcos.html

 

Cleveland Clinic, (2022) Androgens, Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22002-androgens

 

Liao, W.T., Chiang, J.H., Li, C.J., Lee, M.T., Su., C.C., & Yen, H.R. (2018). Investigation
on the Use of Traditional Chinese Medicine for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in a Nationwide Prescription Database in Taiwan, Journal of Clinical Medicine, 7(7), 179, https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7070179

 

Ma, R.J., Zhou, J., Fang, J.Q., Yang, D.H., & Qu, F. (2012) Combination of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicinal Herbs in Treating Model Rats with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, African Journal of Traditional, Complementary, and Alternative Medicines, 8(4), 353-361, https://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajtcam/article/view/66949

 

Patel, S. (2018) Polycystic ovary syndrome (POCS), an inflammatory, systemic, lifestyle endocrinopathy, The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 182, 27-36 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsbmb.2018.04.008

 

Rosenfield, R.L., & Ehrmann, D.A. (2016). The Pathogenesis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): The Hypothesis of PCOS as Functional

 

Ovarian Hyperandrogenism Revisited, Oxford Academic, 37(5), 467-520. https://doi.org/10.1210/er.2015-1104

 

Shen, W., Jin, B., Pan, Y., Han, Y., You, T., Zhang, Z., Qu, Y., Liu, S., & Zhang, Y. (2021) “The Effects of Traditional Chinese Medicine-Associated Complementary and Alternative Medicine on Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome”, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2021, 1-26, https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/6619597