In my practice, a number of women have come to me for the treatment of PCOS. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a disorder of the reproductive system where testosterone levels are normally elevated. Signs and symptoms are irregular menstruation, thickened body hair, middle weight gain. An ultrasound can detect a “string of pearls” around the ovaries” where there are cysts that surround the ovary.
Women who have PCOS often have irregular menstruation or an delayed menstruation. Some woman who are diagnosed with PCOS do not fit the “normal” prototype of PCOS where the only sign of PCOS is irregular menstruation.
PCOS is normally treated by the birth control pill to help regulate menstruation and balance hormones. The issue is once a woman is off the bpc, menstrual irregularity appears again. This can be an issue if she wants to get pregnant.
Chinese Medicine’s Approach to PCOS
In Chinese Medicine, the treatment approach to PCOS is dependent on the symptoms of the menstrual cycle along with the whole body health. Not all cases of PCOS are treated the same. In PCOS, I have seen predominantly two types: phlegm damp where there is weight gain, prolonged menstrual cycles or no menstrual cycles. The other pattern which does not fit your normal PCOS type is one where there are prolonged period or an absence of menstruation. These types can also be diagnosed after the bpc. These individuals have poor sleep, anxiety, vaginal dryness and overall dryness. Other patterns can include those who have hypothyroidism, or suffer from cold.
The beauty of Chinese Medicine is that it helps to “restart” the menstrual cycle naturally. Understanding the body’s biodynamics and pathology present in PCOS enables me to carefully build a treatment plan in order to help women get their menstrual cycle back.
Acupuncture helps to balance hormones and help to boost ovulation and remove the build up of fluids that cause stagnation in the ovaries. It helps to circulate blood flow to the ovaries and uterus which helps hormones to become balanced. In dry types of PCOS, nourishment is needed in order to restart the menstrual cycle. These individuals may also have low estradiole. Estrogen helps to build the follicle which then reaches a certain size for ovulation to take place. When estradiole is low it takes longer for ovulation to takes place, thus menses. That is why periods can be delayed. Herbal medicine plays a critical role in PCOS, in conjunction with acupuncture, herbal medicine improves ovulation and menstruation and both help to boost fertility.
Aside from acupuncture and herbal medicine, diet also plays an important role in regulating hormones. Patients with PCOS should avoid dairy, fried foods, saturated fats and foods high in glucose.
Jenny (anonymous name) was 20 years old when she came to my office. She was diagnosed with PCOS by her gynecologist. She had irregular menstruation, anxiety and she also suffered from acne and poor sleep. After meeting with Jenny, I understood that her fluids (kidnely and liver yin) were deplete and therefore the heat in her body was present which caused acne and anxiety. I put her on an herbal regiment and told her to do a bbt chart in order to monitor her temperatures in the morning. I also told her to look out for egg white discharge which can signify that ovulation was going to take place. Jenny took the herbs and acupuncture for 6 weeks and she ovulated. After four months of treatment her menses came every 28 days, her acne cleared, her anxiety is gone and she can now sleep. This is the power of Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture and herbs help to treat PCOS naturally.
If you want more information or have specific questions, please call our office at 917.763.8560 to schedule a complimentary 20 minute phone consultation.