Acupuncture may help with infertility

Sept. 8, 2008 at 10:33 PM
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Infertility problems, caused by polycystic ovary syndrome may be helped by acupuncture, a U.S. researcher suggests.

University of Virginia Health System's Lisa Pastore reports preliminary results in a trial in which she showed acupuncture may help women with PCOS -- a disease that causes hormone imbalances that interfere with ovulation and can cause infertility.

"Over the last year we have seen women who never had a regular menstrual cycle start having regular periods. We can also boast several pregnancies since the study began," Pastore says in a statement. "Now we would like to recruit more people to the study in order to complete the study. It is important for research to have enough participants to ensure that the results are scientifically credible and not due to chance."

Five percent of reproductive age women are affected by PCOS, Pastore says. Symptoms can include small cysts on the ovaries, infrequent or irregular vaginal bleeding, male-pattern hair growth and acne.

Insulin resistance and pre-diabetes can also develop.

While there are many traditional drugs and therapies that manage PCOS, Pastore says, if acupuncture proves useful it would provide an alternative, non-drug therapy to help women deal with PCOS symptoms.

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