No Results with Acupuncture

by April

Hi Amelia,
I have been on the BCP since I was 15 years old. My periods weren't regular before that, but I was only 13-14 years old, so I was never worried. I stopped taking the BCP in May of 2006 before I got married in September.

By the Spring of 2007 I was diagnosed with PCOS by blood work. I have acne, hair on my face, chest, stomach, fingers and toes. My average weight on the BCP was 145-160 pounds. I currently weigh 185-190 pounds and have been this weight since I stopped taking the pill. I am 5'8.

I don't have an insulin problem the doctor says but I have all the other PCOS symptoms. As of now, I haven't had a period in 8 months. I started acupuncture and have gone to 9 sessions and taken 4 bottles of Chinese herbs. I also started a fertility cleanse and I am on day 21 of that.

I cut out all sugar, processed foods, alcohol, quit smoking and here I am 21 days later no weight loss, no period and I am not pregnant. What else can I do? The doctor says prometrium and clomid is my next step but I don't want to do that if I don't have to. I also don't want to spend my future child's college tuition on treatments. Any advice??


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Acupuncture isn't Magic
by: Amelia Hirota

Hi April,
PCOS can be very tricky to treat, especially if you're not having your period. To give you some idea of a time line, I would recommend getting regular weekly treatments, with personalized herbal therapy, a proactive diet and daily cardio exercise for at least 6 - 9 months. Nine treatments and 4 bottles of Chinese Herbs are not going to turn around 20 years of imbalance (sorry, I'm guessing at your age.)

It's important to keep in mind that if the ovaries are polycystic, they may have been that way since adolescence if you've historically had irregular cycles with intermittent amenorrhea. It would be a small miracle if a few months of acupuncture turned around long term PCOS.

I'm sorry, but starting oral birth control at such a young age may have prevented the body from finding it's equilibrium during adolescence. And using more hormones to force the body to ovulate may not be the answer.

The weight gain alone puts you in a high risk category for pregnancy. I strongly recommend losing the weight before getting pregnant. Your state of health at conception determines the future health of your baby. Preconception care, as practiced by traditional societies was at least a year of preparing the body for conception.

It's fantastic that you've stopped smoking, eliminated alcohol and cleaned up your diet. However, it's only been 21 days. Give your body a chance.

Keep in mind that it takes 4-6 months for the follicles to mature before ovulation. Therefore, once starting a program to nourish the follicles and promote ovulation, it's important to remember the time it takes for the follicles to mature.

I've treated patients for up to a year that weren't getting their period and it's very challenging. Women with irregular cycles are much easier to treat than women with no period at all.

I would be cautious about using drugs like Metformin to treat your PCOS. Studies have found vigorous exercise to be more effective in promoting ovulation than Metformin, without any of the associated side effects.

I hear your frustration and understand how desperate you must be to find answers. I do know that your body is resilient and it wants to be procreate. That's our biological imperative as women.

I did have a patient with PCOS, who conceived twice without having a period. I met her during her second pregnancy. She carried both pregnancies to term and had beautiful, healthy babies. So, while you have been dealt challenging cards, I encourage you to nourish your body and trust in its inherent wisdom.

Sending Baby Dust Your Way,
Amelia Hirota
Licensed and Board Certified Acupuncturist and Herbalist

9 Acupuncture Sessions and No Results
by: April

Hi Amelia,
Everything in your reply makes sense. I guess I just needed someone to lay it all out there for me, as well as to understand my frustration.

Thank You!

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