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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Oct;96(10):3143-50. doi: 10.1210/jc.2011-1126. Epub 2011 Aug 3.

True and sham acupuncture produced similar frequency of ovulation and improved LH to FSH ratios in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA. lpastore@virginia.edu

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Acupuncture may represent a nonpharmaceutical treatment for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), based on four studies.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of the study was to determine whether true, as compared with sham, acupuncture normalizes pituitary gonadotropin hormones and increases ovulatory frequency in women with PCOS.

DESIGN:

This was a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled clinical trial (5 month protocol).

SETTING:

The study was conducted in central Virginia.

PARTICIPANTS:

Eighty-four reproductive-aged women completed the intervention. Eligibility required a PCOS diagnosis and no hormonal intervention 60 d before enrollment.

INTERVENTIONS:

Intervention included 12 sessions of true or sham acupuncture (Park sham device) for 8 wk.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Serum LH and FSH at baseline, after intervention, and 3 months later were measured. Ovulation was measured with weekly urine or blood samples.

RESULTS:

Both arms demonstrated a similar mean ovulation rate over the 5 months (0.37/month among n = 40 true acupuncture and 0.40/month among n = 44 sham participants, P = 0.6), similar LH to FSH ratio improvement (-0.5 and -0.8 true and sham, respectively, P < 0.04 after intervention vs. baseline) and a similar decline in LH over the 5-month protocol (P < 0.05). Neither arm experienced a change in FSH. There were seven pregnancies (no difference by intervention, P = 0.7). Lower fasting insulin and free testosterone were highly correlated with a higher ovulation rate within the true acupuncture group only (P = 0.03), controlling for prestudy menstrual frequency and body mass index.

CONCLUSION:

We were unable to discern a difference between the true and sham acupuncture protocols for these women with PCOS, and both groups had a similar improvement in their LH/FSH ratio.

PMID:
21816787
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3200239
Free PMC Article

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