Low-frequency electro-acupuncture (EA) can improve hyperandrogenism and menstrual frequency in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), according to a study carried out in Sweden. Eighty-four women with PCOS were randomised to 16 weeks of low-frequency EA, physical exercise, or no intervention.
After 16 weeks of treatment, levels of circulating androgens were found to have decreased significantly in the EA group (testosterone -25%, androsterone glucuronide -30%, and androstane-3α, 17β-diol-3glucuronide -28%). In addition, menstrual frequency increased to 0.69 per month from 0.28 at baseline in the EA group.
After 16-weeks of follow-up, acne scores had decreased by 32% in the EA group. Both EA and exercise improved menstrual frequency and decreased androgen levels at week 16 and at 16-week follow-up, compared to no intervention, but EA was found to be superior to physical exercise.
(Impact of electroacupuncture and exercise on hyperandrogenism and oligo/amenorrhoea in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A randomized controlled trial. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Oct 13. [Epub ahead of print]).