Acupuncture reduces androgen levels in PCOS
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]).
Acupuncture Improves Sperm Motility
The first prospective, randomised, single-blind, placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile men with severe oligoasthenozoospermia has shown that acupuncture can improve sperm motility. The German study, involving 29 men compared TCM acupuncture with placebo acupuncture. A significantly higher percentage of motile sperm was found after real acupuncture. No effect of acupuncture on sperm concentration was observed. (A prospective randomized placebo-controlled study of the effect of acupuncture in infertile patients with severe oligoasthenozoospermia. Fertil Steril. 2009 Apr 24. [Epub ahead of print]).