PCOS: By reducing stress, acupuncture enhances reproductive function

We already know that infertility causes stress. We also know that stress can have a major impact on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which decreases the reproductive function.

Stress reduction may improve fertility (Domar et al, 1990) and can be achieved through a variety of means. Acupuncture works by inhibiting the sympathetic nervous system and increases the beta-endrophin levels, bringing down the blood cortisol concentrations (Harbach et al, 2007), a marker for stress. It can consequently be beneficial in improving reproductive function. Whilst acupuncture in reducing stress are often view as a placebo effect, many investigators had already done coherent studies to counteract its true efficacy. It was deduced that sham electroacupuncture did not prevent elevations of adrenocorticotropic hormone and cortisol whereas true acupuncture was effective. The testing reveals that electroacupuncture at a single acupoint is likely to act through the central regulation of corticotropin-releasing hormone and not directly through cortisol nor ACTH  feedback. ACTH is produced in the pituitary gland in response to CRH, which is released by the hypothalamus.


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