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Acupuncture Better Than Exercise For Women With PCOS

We randomized 84 women with PCOS, aged 18–37 yr, to 16 wk of low-frequency electric-acupuncture, physical exercise, or no intervention.

The primary outcome measure changes in the concentration of total testosterone (T) at week 16 determined by gas and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry was analyzed by intention to treat.

Secondary outcome measures were changes in menstrual frequency; concentrations of androgens, estrogens, androgen precursors, and glucuronidated androgen metabolites; and acne and hirsutism. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, after 16 wk of intervention, and after a 16-wk follow-up.

After 16 wk of intervention, circulating T decreased by 25%, androsterone glucuronide by 30%, and androstane-3,17-diol-3-glucuronide b y28% in the electric-acupuncture group (P 0.038, 0.030, and 0.047, respectively vs. exercise); menstrual frequency increased to 0.69/month from 0.28 at baseline in the electric-acupuncture group (P 0.018 vs. exercise).

After the 16-wk follow-up, the acne score decreased by 32% in the electric-acupuncture group (P 0.006 vs. exercise).

Both electric-acupuncture and exercise improved menstrual frequency and decreased the levels of several sex steroids at week 16 and at the 16-wk follow-up compared with no intervention.

Low-frequency electric-acupuncture and physical exercise improved hyperandrogenism and menstrual frequency more effectively than no intervention in women with PCOS.

Low-frequency electric-acupuncture was superior to physical exercise.

References

Jedel et al. (2011) Impact of electro-acupuncture and physical exercise on hyperandrogenism and oligo/amenorrhea in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 300: E37–E45.

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