Background: To evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture combined with herbal medicine among the infertile female with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Method: A randomized, sham-controlled trial was conducted. A total of 86 women who were diagnosed as PCOS infertility for more than 1 year were randomly assigned to receive manual acupuncture (MA) or sham acupuncture (SA) twice per week for three menstrual cycles. Both groups received herbal medicine treatment. The evaluations were conducted at baseline, each menstruation, after three menstrual cycles and 24 weeks follow-up, including pregnancy rate, ovulation rate, sex hormones level, PCOS symptoms and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) syndrome scores.
Results: Among 86 randomized patients, 79 (91.86%) completed the trial. The pregnancy rate in the MA group was significantly higher than the SA group (46.34% vs 18.42%; P =0.008). The ovulation rate of the MA group was higher than the SA group (58.14% vs 45.74%; P =0.046). The improvement rate of PCOS score and testosterone level showed a statistical difference between the two groups( P <0.05), others were no significant difference between the two groups. PCOS score and TCM symptom score of the two groups were both decreased after treatment ( P <0.001). Sex hormones level including E2, T, P, LH and LH/FSH were significantly lower after intervention in the MA group ( P values were <0.05) compared with baseline, while only the progesterone level was reduced in the SA group ( P =0.008).
Conclusion: Manual acupuncture combined with herbal medicine may be clinically useful for infertile women with PCOS in improving pregnancy and ovulation rate.