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Acupuncture 'can relieve PCOS'

28th August 2009

Acupuncture can help relieve polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), according to researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

The NHS estimates that one in ten British women suffer from PCOS to some degree, which is widely recognised as the most common cause of ovulation failure.

PCOS manifests itself through a number of small immature cysts on the ovaries that disturb the production of hormones, which in turn affects ovulation.

Scientists gave sufferers a course of electro-acupuncture over a period of four months, while another group was asked to exercise at least three times per week.

Both groups showed reduced activity of the sympathetic nervous system and lower levels of the male hormone testosterone compared to the control group.

Commenting on the findings, lead researcher Elisabet Stener-Victorin explained that the cause of the condition is still unknown.

She said: 'We have seen that women with the syndrome often have high activity in that part of the nervous system that we cannot consciously control, known as the "sympathetic nervous system".

'We believe that this may be an important underlying factor in the syndrome.'

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