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Hormonal Regulation In Pcos Using Acupuncture And Herbal Supplements: A Case Report And Review Of The Literature

Marika Alois, MD; Irene M Estores, MD

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common cause of menstrual irregularity and hyperandrogenism in women of reproductive age. Conventional treatment is centered around the use of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) to regulate menstrual cycles, protect against endometrial hyperplasia, and manage clinically evident androgen excess. Many women prefer to avoid OCPs due to concerns about risks and adverse effects, or simply because they desire a non-pharmacologic approach. We present the case of a young woman with a strong preference for a natural approach to her care who presented with PCOS manifesting in menstrual irregularity, acne, and hirsutism. In this case, acupuncture as well as the botanicals Vitex agnus-castus and diindolylmethane were used over a 10-month period. The patient regained menstrual cyclicity, and clinical and biochemical hyperandrogenism normalized. This report underscores the need for an integrative approach to the management of multifactorial disorders such as PCOS and highlights the basic science and clinical data supporting the use of acupuncture, Vitex agnus-castus, and diindolylmethane in patients with this condition.

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