How TCM Treats PCOS
What is PCOS and how TCM can treat it?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex condition characterized by elevated androgen levels, menstrual irregularities, and/or small cysts on one or both ovaries. Alternative medicine such as Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) have been shown to be effective in treating women with PCOS to successful conception.
The term polycystic ovaries refers to ovaries that contain 10 or more immature follicles with a maximum 9 mm diameter and whose central connective tissue is increased. Under ultrasound, multiple antral follicles— without a dominant follicle—and, as a whole, clearly enlarged ovaries are detected. The follicles fail to mature into a tertiary follicle ready for ovulation. Ovulation fails to take place and menstrual periods are accordingly irregular or absent.
What are the symptoms of PCOS?
Usually PCOS patients present with the following:
● enlarged ovaries with numerous small cysts,
● irregular menstrual cycles,
● increased body hair in a typical male pattern (hirsutism)
● changes in the fat and carbohydrate metabolism (insulin resistance)
● hair loss
How EMW treats PCOS
For both Western and Chinese medicine, the first line of treatment is diet and weight control. The goal is to regulate the blood sugar, decrease insulin resistance and improve glucose metabolism to stabilize mood and weight. With some women, reducing insulin levels and improving insulin sensitivity through weight loss, a low glycemic diet and exercise may restore normal ovulation.
TCM approach treats underlying imbalances causing hormonal irregularities to correct the problem and the symptoms together. Thorough evaluations, specialized acupuncture treatments, and nutritional guidelines are used to regulate the menstrual cycle.
For any treatment option, make sure to stick with your game plan since results can take a few months to appear. You’ll notice that cycles become more regular, indicated by mid-month vaginal discharge and elevated temperatures. Eventually, you’ll also see weight reduction and lesser abnormal hair growth.
Usually, patients don’t know they have PCOS until they started trying to conceive(TTC). At the very most, they just accept that they have irregular periods and it is a ‘norm’. Blood serum levels fluctuate, i.e to say there will be months where you DO ovulate, the KEY is to know when you ovulate before trying. It is clinically impossible to ask patients to go for ultrasound scan every month to test for ovulation, therefore we recommend Body Basal Temperature(BBT) charting. Although it is not gold standard medically per se, it does help to map out your menstrual patterns.
After definite diagnosis, we will have to diagnose your body constitution. Not all PCOS patients are diagnosed with Kidney Deficiency or Dampness Body Constitution. Every individual is different, therefore every treatment approach is individualised.
After which, you will need chinese herbal medication, acupuncture and a customised diet/exercise plan.
Contact us to make an appointment if you have been diagnosed with PCOS or have problems with ovulation and conceiving.
Our TCM Physician
Edmund graduated with a First Class Hons in Biomedical Sciences and Traditional Chinese Medicine from Nanyang Technological University, before taking a Masters in Gynaecology(TCM) in Liaoning, China.
He has successfully treated patients with unexplained infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome(PCOS) and endometriosis and helped them conceive naturally with Traditional Chinese Medicine.