Can TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) help PCOS?
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrine disorder affecting the ability to achieve pregnancy in affected women, affecting nearly 10 percent of women overall. “poly” means many and “cyst” means sacs that contain fluid and “syndrome” means a group of associated symptoms. Patients usually only find out about PCOS during a clinic visit for their irregular menses, prolong delay menstruation or failing to get pregnant after actively trying for it.
Women with PCOS may or may not have symptoms and may not have all the symptoms at the same time. It is also important to know that women who are overweight or obese are more likely to have PCOS, while it can happen with women with normal BMI. Following are the symptoms of PCOS
- Infrequent or absent menses. Some women have abnormal uterine bleeding due to prolong absent of ovulation.
- Excessive growth of dark or coarse hair in a male-like pattern – face, back and chest. This is known as hirsutism.
When investigated by doctors, women with PCOS may have pearl string appearance seen in ovary due to the present of multiple cysts on an ultrasound scan. From blood investigation they may also have too much male hormone, testosterone. The LH hormone may also be raised.
The diagnosis of PCOS is based on the fulfilment of 2 out of the 3 Rotterdam criteria. PCOS is also frequently associated with metabolic diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Other medical problem may be seen include Sleep apnea and fatty liver disease.
In the theory of TCM, PCOS is often due to kidney deficiency, excess water, blood stagnation, and Yang deficiency.
For those who are trying to get pregnant, TCM will help to improve the ovarian activity, uterus blood flow and support ovulation for fertilisation. This is done by:
Improve kidney function - which influence the reproductive system.
Remove excess dampness in the body.
Improving blood and Qi circulation to ensure optimal nutrients and oxygen is being transported to both ovaries and subsequently eggs(follicles) and removing excess dampness.
PCOS women who are overweight or obese, there tends to have more dampness present. Combine healthy diet and lifestyle, TCM can improve the PCOS condition and helps body return to normal endocrine function.
Stress is another contributing factor to irregular menses, and acupuncture will helps relax the body and mind and improve the nervous system. Acupuncture has been gaining popularity worldwide especially in the treatment of fertility. Many fertility specialists in the Europe are using acupuncture to improve the IVF treatment success rate. Acupuncture can unblock meridian in the body to improve circulation of qi, energy, and blood flow to the reproductive systems, which boosting fertility in the process. Consistency is the key in any treatment, weekly acupuncture sessions is reported to better improve fertility function than occasional on-and-off treatment.
If you suspect or have been diagnosed with PCOS, it is important to talk to your doctor to understand what western medicine options you have, while also talk to our physicians to discuss your treatment options.
Published : 2-Aug-2021