There's hope for the many who women suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which causes irregular periods and can even lead to infertility.
Acupuncture normalises the menstrual cycle in PCOS sufferers, and it also lowers levels of testosterone.
Researchers from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden tested electro-acupuncture, which uses needles stimulated with a weak low-frequency electric current, on a group of PCOS sufferers, and compared them with other sufferers who were not treated.
The acupuncture group reported that their menstrual cycles had become normal, and, when tested, the researchers found their levels of testosterone were also 'significantly lower'.
PCOS affects around 10 per cent of women of reproductive age. Small cysts form on the ovaries, which disturb the production of hormones, including an increase in testosterone, the male sex hormone.
(Source: American Journal of Physiology, 2009; doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00197.2009).