Impact of electroacupuncture and exercise on hyperandrogenism and oligo/amenorrhoea in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: A randomized controlled trial.
Journal article, 2011
Background: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the most common endocrine disorder in women of reproductive age, is characterized by hyperandrogenism, oligo/amenorrhea, and polycystic ovaries. We aimed to determine whether low-frequency electro-acupuncture (EA) decreases hyperandrogenism and improves oligo/amenorrhea more effectively than physical exercise or no intervention. Methods: We randomized 84 women with PCOS, aged 18-37 years, to 16 weeks of low-frequency EA, 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, glucuronidated androgen metabolites; and acne and hirsutism. Outcomes were assessed at baseline, after 16 weeks of intervention, and after a 16-week follow-up. Results: After 16 weeks of intervention, circulating T decreased by -25%, androsterone glucuronide by -30%, and androstane-3α, 17β-diol-3glucuronide by -28% in the EA 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 EA group (P=0.018 vs. exercise). After the 16-week follow-up, the acne score decreased by -32% in the EA group (P=0.006 vs. exercise). Both EA and exercise improved menstrual frequency and decreased the levels of several sex steroids at week 16 and at the 16-week follow-up, compared to no intervention. Conclusion/Significance: Low-frequency EA and physical exercise improved hyperandrogenism and menstrual frequency more effectively than no intervention in women with PCOS. Low-frequency EA was superior to physical exercise and may be useful for treating hyperandrogenism and oligo/amenorrhea.
Sex steroid precursors
Glucuronidated androgen metabolites