Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) is a condition of a decline of ovarian function before the age of 40 and is one of the major causes of female infertility. It is characterized by elevated FSH and LH levels and low estradiol (E2) levels. The symptoms include menstrual disturbance, and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia, and increase the risk of decreased bone mineral density and cardiovascular disease. The incidence of POI is approximately 1%–5%.
According to the guidelines for POI developed by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), the diagnostic criteria are as follows: age <40 years, oligo/amenorrhea for at least 4 months, and elevated follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels >25 mIU/ml on two occasions >4 weeks apart. The exact causes of POI are still unclear, but they could be related to gene factors, iatrogenic causes, autoimmunity, unhealthy lifestyle, and psychological stress. Currently, the main way in Western medicine to treat POI is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Acupuncture is suggested a good candidate to improve ovarian function for women with POI and want to have children in China. Clinical research shows the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating POI. Acupuncture treatment improved clinical symptoms, slowed down female genital atrophy, regulated hormone levels, and improved pregnancy rates.
For example, A research analysed Eight RCTs before 2014. The result has shown that acupuncture significantly lowered serum FSH levels and more women receiving acupuncture reported resumption of menses. Research studied the effect on acupuncture on POI. A total of 66 patients with POI were randomly divided into an observation group and a control group. Both groups were treated for 3 menstrual cycles. Compared before treatment, the serum levels of FSH and LH were decreased, the levels of E2 were increased. After treatment, the serum level of AMH and AFC in the observation group were increased and higher than those in the control group. Another study has shown that after three menstrual cycles, the level of FSH was significantly reduced, E2 was increased, the endometrium became thicker, and the menstrual symptoms were improved, suggesting that the acupuncture therapy was effective in improving ovarian function and low estrogen symptoms in POI patients.
Yang Fu et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022; 2022: 9053930.
Junyoung Jo et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015; 2015: 842180.
Lin-Lin Wang et al Zhongguo Zhen Jiu 2021 Jul 12;41(7):742-6.
A leading acupuncture specialist in Chelsea, Kensington, Richmond London
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Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Many year research and clinical experiences. This blog is for information only.
Friday, 17 March 2023
Acupuncture is effective for premature ovarian insufficiency (POI)
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