Is Acupuncture for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Infertility a Viable Alternative to IVF?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common conditions affecting women with fertility problems. PCOS causes the ovaries to enlarge abnormally and develop small cysts containing immature eggs. In addition, PCOS stimulates excess production of androgens (male hormones) that are eventually converted into estrogen. Higher than normal levels of male hormones interfere with the release and development of healthy eggs (ovulation). Missed or irregular periods, infertility, weight gain and mood swings are some symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome. Most women discover they have PCOS during a fertility evaluation or medical exam given by their primary care physician.
Can acupuncture help with getting pregnant if you have PCOS? Research regarding acupuncture’s ability to improve conception rates for women with PCOS is nonexistent. In fact, medical professionals do not condone acupuncture for treating infertility since there is no evidence that acupuncture alters reproductive chemistry, the release of reproductive hormones or regulates the menstrual cycle. Acupuncture is primarily used to relieve pain involving musculoskeletal and nervous system disorders like fibromyalgia, migraines, back pain and arthritis. In fact, clinical data does indicate that acupuncture stimulates opioid receptors in the brain to release endorphins and other natural analgesics. However, acupuncture does not seem to increase the probability of conceiving, even in women who do not have PCOS.
Donor Egg IVF for Fertility PCOS
When birth control pills or ovulation medications are ineffective for treating infertility caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, many women choose to conceive via donor egg (IVF). This procedure involves your doctor implanting fertilized donor eggs in your uterus following preparation of the endometrial lining with hormones or other relevant medications. Fertilization of donor eggs is done using donor sperm or sperm from the woman’s partner.
All IVF procedures begin with a thorough fertility evaluation by our licensed fertility doctor to determine levels of reproductive hormones in the bloodstream. Your doctor will then monitor embryo development once eggs are transferred to the uterus. In addition, women will need to continue taking hormones prescribed by their doctor to support health of the uterine lining during pregnancy.
If you have had trouble getting pregnant and suspect you may have polycystic ovary syndrome, don’t rely on acupuncture to reverse your infertility. Instead, rely on evidence-based, fertility treatments provided by New York Reproductive Wellness. To make an appointment today, please call 516-612-8466.