What do patients say about us:
Tessa is 40 and diagnosed with PCOS. She came to us in July 2017 after 3 failed IVF. Prior to treatment, her Prolactin was 848, Oestradiol 73, and AMH 22 indicating hormonal imbalance which is the cause of PCOS. Her Progesterone was < 0.5, indicating no ovulation. After 3 months of treatment, her Prolactin is 464, Oestradiol 117, AMH 6.8 reflecting normal level of hormones all round. What is more, her Progesterone is now 29, indicating ovulation.
‘I am very pleased with the result. I would like to continue with treatment’
Betty is 28, her period cycles stopped when she was 17. She has been using the pills for some 10 years. Doctor’s diagnosis was PCOS. She decided to stop doing so and seek treatment. We asked her to take some hormone tests prior to coming to us. Her AMH turned out to be over 40 which is consistent with her PCOS diagnosis. During consultation on the third month in August 2017, she told us that she had her period cycle and it all went well. She also noticed spots on her face. She said,
‘This is probably the first time I am happy to have spots on my face. I am very happy with the treatment and it seems amazing that my period is now back. I have a strong feeling that my periods will come again.’
Neera is a patient aged 38 with PCOS from the day that she had her first period as a teenager. She told us on her second visit after just one month of using our remedies:
‘I have never felt so peaceful in my life. I am happy and I did not realise that that I can be so serenely happy.’
Neera’s AMH was 266 when she first started. When she went for a re test in July 2017, her AMH dropped to 164.
‘My AMH dropped 100, I am very happy with the result’.
Barbara is 22. She came to us in June 2017 after using contraceptives for 5 years on and off. When she was using contraceptives, she had period cycles. When she stopped using contraceptives, she did not. She got fed up with this and decided that she wanted to treat her PCOS properly. In her second consultation, she told us:
‘I had a natural cycle just after I finished my herbs for the first month. I could not believe this. How could this happen?’
Lori is a patient with PCOS. Here is what she said to us:
‘I first saw Professor Li following an early miscarriage after our first IVF treatment in 2015. He listened carefully to our situation and my ongoing symptoms, and identified a number of deficiencies that are involved in my inability to get pregnant. Following six months of treatment, I am happy to report that many of my troublesome symptoms have either disappeared or improved dramatically. We are planning a second IVF treatment shortly and feeling optimistic. Many thanks to Professors Li and Au – they are kind, supportive and professional.’
‘Some good news though–I had a scan last week and my ovaries are no longer polycystic! This means they can start me on a higher dose of FSH and hopefully collect more eggs this time. Fingers crossed.’
Emma came to us after long treatment by conventional and alternative medicine. She had irregular periods and PCOS. She was prescribed contraceptive pills to regulate her periods. She also wanted children and the solution was therefore far from ideal. Nonetheless, she had to use the pills but she opted for IVF but failed the first cycle. She came to us with her husband who also had low sperm count. We treated her husband first to improve sperm count and other parameters. We then treated her by regulating her periods and improving her general and reproductive health. She went for another cycle of IVF with the consultant we work with but it has to be aborted since she started bleeding before egg collection. Another cycle followed and she was pregnant. She sent this messages to us:
‘I just had the blood test result (for pregnancy) today and it is positive.’, ‘Yes, we will definitely keep in touch.’
She wrote to us over the new year again:
‘Happy New Year! How are you?
Sorry I should have write to you earlier but I was extremely busy with my newborn baby and moving house. I went for an induced labour and gave birth to Paul last October… I am pretty much just settled down now. I want to say thanks to both you and prof. Li for your help in the past a few years. I hope if you do not mind I will pop into your clinic and say hello when I am next in London.’
Below is a documented case published in the PCOS charity Verity’s newsletter ‘In touch’:
Educational consultant Yvonne Archer had been diagnosed with PCOS. She became pregnant three times between 1997 and 1999 but lost each baby between six and nine weeks. She was referred to an assisted conception unit in December 1999. Scanning showed a normal uterus and her tests were negative. Clomi-phene did not work, and while ovulation induction went well, she still did not conceive.
In early 2000 her consultant suggested she had reached the point where IVF would be necessary. Meanwhile, Yvonne had been experimenting with aroma-therapy, TCM general medicine and acupuncture with no success.
In May 2000 Yvonne went to TCM HealthCare’s fertility clinic, where she was diagnosed with kidney and liver deficiency and put on herbal medication for five months. Again, nothing happened. While her body was back in balance, our doctor explained that pregnancy was not automatic and her body needed time.
In February 2001, Yvonne rang to say she was pregnant, and was keen to see the TCM specialist to ensure that this time she could carry the baby to full term. After a consultation in March 2001 she was prescribed 12 days of herbal medicine. No further medication was necessary. She gave birth to a healthy daughter in October 2001.
@Verity ‘In Touch’ – Newsletter of the Charity for women who suffer from PCOS
**Please also check our Google review on right hand side**
What is Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work. It occurs when a woman’s levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are out of balance. This leads to the growth of ovarian cysts (benign masses on the ovaries). PCOS can cause problems with a women’s menstrual cycle, fertility, cardiac function, and appearance.
Polycystic ovaries contain a large number of harmless follicles that are up to 8mm (approximately 0.3in) in size. The follicles are under-developed sacs in which eggs develop. In PCOS, these sacs are often unable to release an egg, which means that ovulation doesn’t take place.
It is estimated PCOS affects 1 in every 5 women in the UK. More than half of these women don’t have any symptoms.
How do I know I have PCOS?
The common signs and symptoms of PCOS are:
- irregular periods or no period at all
- difficulty in getting pregnant as a result of irregular ovulation or failure to ovulate
- excessive hair growth – usually on the face, chest, back or buttocks
- weight gain
- thinning hair and hair loss from the head
- oily skin or acne
The three main features of PCOS are:
- Irregular period – which means your ovaries don’t regularly ovulate
- Excess androgen – high levels of “male hormones”, which may cause physical signs such as excess facial, body hair and in some cases, alopecia i.e. hair loss.
- polycystic ovaries – your ovaries become enlarged and contain many fluid-filled sacs (follicles) which surround the eggs
A formal diagnosis of PCOS is usually made when you have at least two out of the three main features above.
High AMH and testosterone are often associated with PCOS. They are often used as part of a diagnostic tool for PCOS as these tests are inexpensive and simple to carry out.
What causes PCOS?
Research suggests that hormonal imbalances and genetics play a role. Women are more likely to develop PCOS if their mother or sister also has the condition.
PCOS is related to abnormal hormone levels in the body. Imbalance of hormones means that the signals given to the different parts of reproductive system are out of sync, causing symptoms such as irregular periods or lack of periods, hair growth in areas women do not want to see, hair loss, poor egg quality.
What are the impacts of PCOS on fertility?
Irregular periods mean that it is difficult to determine the timing of ovulation. This creates problems for couples who would like to plan their intercourse accordingly not to mention the anxiety that can generate. In severe cases, women may not ovulate at all. In cases where women lose their cycles completely, the impact on fertility is obvious. Conventional medicine treatment may include prescribing contraceptives or HRT which presents problem when a woman intends to conceive. In addition, some patients report unpleasant side effects.
Women with PCOS tend to have high testosterone level. It is well known that too much testosterone delivered to follicles (as commonly occurs in older women who have diminished ovarian reserve and women with PCOS), can lead to exhaustion of granulosa cells, compromised egg development and poor egg and embryo quality.
In a paper published in 2008 entitled “Implications of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome on Oocyte Development“, a team of US scientists concluded that, ‘PCOS patients undergoing ovarian stimulation for in vitrofertilization (IVF) are at increased risks of impaired oocyte developmental competence, implantation failure and pregnancy loss’. It went on to recommend that,’Recent data demonstrate links between endocrine/paracrine factors and oocyte gene expression in PCOS and suggest that new clinical strategies to optimise developmental competence of PCOS oocytes should target correction of the entire follicle growth and oocyte development process’.
In sum, the subjective experience of patients and the objective scientific evidence suggest PCOS patients are likely to be less successful in either natural pregnancy or IVF treatment as PCOS patients are likely to have poor egg quality (For a short outline on egg development, please refer to “An egg’s journey to life – a story seldom told”, by clicking here and go to mid page) or no well developed eggs at all at times.
What tests should I do to see if I have PCOS?
A quick way to start testing PCOS may be through getting a AMH test (fee = £98) and Testosterone test (fee = £75) done which can be carried out anytime whether you have cycles or not. Those with PCOS usually find that they have exceptionally high AMH and high testosterone.
This can be followed by an antral follicle scan to confirm if you do have cysts in your ovaries. We can help arrange an antral follicle scan to be carried out by a gynaecologist.
Can PCOS be treated?
Conventional western medicine believes that there is no cure for PCOS, the focus tends to be about managing the symptoms using medication.
At TCM HealthCare, we regularly treat patients with PCOS (See independent Google reviews where some of our patients who talked about their experience first hand) The foundations of our clinical practice are TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) theory and clinical experience as recorded in medicinal books and records over hundreds of years. This is augmented by longstanding clinical interest and experience at our Clinic testified by modern science i.e. Hormone results before and after treatment, scan, successful IVF cycles and natural pregnancies.
In 1237 A.D., the first book devoted solely to gynaecology and obstetrics of Chinese Medicine, The Complete Book of Effective Prescriptions for Diseases of Women, was published. Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture when practised by highly skilled and experienced specialists usually lead to satisfactory curative effects in treating some gynaecological disorders such as endometriosis, infertility, dysmenorrhea, abnormal uterine bleeding, premenstrual syndrome, menopausal syndrome, uterine fibroids and chronic pelvic inflammation, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), cervicitis and vaginitis.
How do we treat PCOS?
Our approach is to use natural herbal remedy and acupuncture to strengthen and regulate the reproductive system. In particular, the focus is to improve the endocrine system and functions. As the US scientists suggest in the paper cited earlier, we target the correction of the entire follicle growth and oocyte development process (see section on ‘An egg’s journey to life – a story seldom told’ by going to the mid page here). The visible outcomes are:
- hormonal balance as testified by hormone re-tests – see AMH test results and FSH test results,
- regular periods and better egg quality as testified by patients who went for IVFs and have their eggs collected by IVF consultant – see testimonials.
- last but not least, it meant that for many women, they do not need to go for IVFs as once the period is regulated, ovulation is likely to occur where natural pregnancy will be the result.
There are no known adverse side effects and the condition once treated successfully is unlikely to come back.
What do you need to do?
Patients come to us with their most recent AMH, Testosterone test results (and Prolactin if you have lost your period for over 3 months) and/or other results such as scan. The first consultation will last for an hour where detailed but non-invasive and pain-free Chinese medical diagnostic procedures will be carried out. This ensure that we understand your particular condition and circumstances thoroughly. This in-depth understanding will allow our specialist to prescribe an unique herbal formula which usually consists of around 20 kinds of herbs tailored made for you only. You will be asked to make drinks out of them and consume them twice a day for 18 days (24 days if you have lost your period for more than 3 months) in a month.
A month after the first consultation, you would have finished the herbal remedy. You come back again for a second consultation which will last for 30 minutes. Again, a diagnostic procedure will be carried out to see how well you respond to the treatment. Another unique herbal prescription will be formulated for your improved condition. This monthly cycle will repeat 3 to 4 times before you are asked to have another AMH test carried out. Most patients see significant improvements. They also report their periods are now much more regular.
Where patients would like to combine us with IVF, a regular period will increase the chances of IVF e.g. higher dosage of stimulating hormone can be used. In some cases, patients reported that IVF specialists found through scan that their PCOS have now disappeared.
How do we know we are successful in treating PCOS?
PCOS is caused by imbalance of hormones. It is also associated with irregular periods. We have a good track record in successfully treating many cases of imbalance of hormones and regulating periods using natural herbs. See how we treat imbalance of hormone by clicking here.
PCOS is associated with exceptionally high AMH, we are able to reduce AMH substantially in PCOS patients. See AMH results here (Roll down to data for pre and post treatment results for PCOS patients).
We also have a good track record in treating severe cases of imbalance of hormones which results in hormones falling into menopausal ranges. Patients who suffer from premature ovarian failure and early menopause have benefited from our treatment. For how we treat premature ovarian failure and early menopause, please click here.
Last but not least, some of our patients who are under the care of IVF specialists at the same time report that the IVF specialists tell them that their PCOS has disappeared, see testimonials.
How much are the fees?
The all inclusive fees are in the region of £350 per month. The fees include consultation fee, herbal remedies in the form of dry herbs and postage using tracking post.
How often do I need to come?
Once a month. Most patients come to us for 3 months to 9 months (Each phase of our treatment will last for 3 months). Natural pregnancy usually occur in Phase 2 or 3 for our treatment programme. Some combine our treatment with IVF (with one or two phases of treatment to improve hormones prior to IVF).