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Treating PCOS with Acupuncture

A new patient (suffering from PCOS) came to see me last week. She hadn't had her period for about 3 months. The following week I didn't ask if her period had come and was waiting for the right moment ( in case it was yet another week of waiting and nothing happening... ) when she casually said 'oh and I got my period last week". Now it could have been about to come in any case and just needed a nudge in the right direction from Acupuncture, (we will only know over time whether she quickly regains a regular cycle or needs months of weekly sessions). Acupuncture can be that quick and dramatic, (or it can need a number of sessions), but in either case is such a great help (alongside appropriate diet and exercise in helping PCOS patients restore their menstrual cycle.

I often ask women with PCOS to use the Basal Bady Temperature method (BBT) to gain a deeper understanding from both a Chinese and Western medicine perspective on what is happening throughout their cycle. BBT charting isn't for everyone and should never be a pressure, but some women like the more proactive approach, and it enables them to see on paper the improvements starting to take shape as both the length and quality of their cycle improves. An example that comes to mind is a patient with PCOS who had an extremely zig zaggy saw tooth pattern to her BBT chart (as well as often waiting 40-50 days for her next period to come). After regular Acupuncture , Tuina (Chinese medicine massage) and moxibustion, she now has a regular cycle and a much smoother BBT chart which clearly shows she is ovulating each month.

Acupuncture can be extremely helpful for women looking to conceive, who because of PCOS having no way of knowing if and when they are ovulating each month. The key is not to give up. Sometimes it takes 6-12 months to regain a regular cycle but it can also happen surprisingly quickly. One of my patients with secondary infertility due to PCOS was delighted to conceive within the first couple of months of treatment. As with any women suffering from PCOS, Acupuncture is only one part of the equation in dealing with PCOS. Diet, exercise and lifestyle choices are equally important. Chinese medicine doesn't have a one size fits all approach to diet (or exercise) and it is important to understand patients' individual constitutions and states of energy when giving not only Acupuncture treatment but also dietary and lifestyle advice.

Visit my website for further information on my approach to treating women's health through Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Tuina Massage.

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