ACUPCOS: Acupuncture & PCOS – A Multi-Centres Randomised Controlled Trial (Pages 1-13)

Chi Eung Danforn Lim1,2, Xiping Luo3, Xinlin Zhan3 and Wu Shun Felix Wong4

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou, China; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing, China; 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jiangxi Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Nanchang, Jiangxi, China


Abstract: Background: Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a prevalent and burdensome endocrine disorder. Acupuncture was proposed as a novel treatment. A range of preliminary results in favour of its use were found in published reports. This paper presents the first randomised controlled study on body acupuncture with Chinese medicine syndrome differentiation for PCOS. Method: A propective single blinded randomised controlled trial was being carried out from Jan 2008 to May 2009 at the Liverpool Hospital in Sydney Australia and Guangdong Women’s & Children’s Hospital in Guangzhou China. A total of 146 participants diagnosed with PCOS and Kidney Yang deficiency according Chinese medicine (CM) syndrome differentiation diagnoses were recruited. All participants were randomly assigned into a real acupuncture intervention group or sham acupuncture control group in a 2:1 ratio. Results: 141 subjects completed the study. A significant reduction in inter-menstruation interval was noted in intervention group, as well as in the level of FSH, LH, LH: FSH ratio, Progesterone and FAI were observed. Conclusion: It seems acupuncture has a role in restoring regular menstrual pattern as well as the hormonal profiles among women with PCOS. This effect is thought to be related to β-endorphin’s modulatory effect on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and direct influence on the serum level of FSH, LH, oestrogen and progesterone. Further research is needed in this area.

Keywords: Acupuncture, PCOS, Menstruation, Hormones.