Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Testimonials

Brenda is 25 and is diagnosed with PCOS. She has irregular periods, AMH at 25.5, testosterone at 1.5. After 3 months of treatment, her periods are much more regular (within 3 days), AMH is 15.7 and testosterone is 1.2.

“I am very happy with the result. My periods are much more regular, my skin is better and I have more energy. I would like to carry on with the treatment for 3 more months.”

Tina, aged 25, is diagnosed with PCOS. She had high AMH (95), testosterone (1.6) and high LH (27). Her periods were irregular. After three months of treatment, her AMH was still at 95, but LH normalised to 9 and testosterone went down to 1.1. She now also has regular periods.

“Everything seems to be working now. Very happy. ”

Betty’s period cycles stopped when she was 17. She came to us when she was 28, and had been using the contraceptive pill for around 10 years. Her doctor’s diagnosis was PCOS. She decided to stop taking the pill and to seek treatment with us. After taking the tests we requested, her AMH turned out to be over 40, consistent with her PCOS diagnosis. During our consultation in the third month of treatment, she told us she had her period and it all went well; she also noticed spots on her face.

 “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, 38, had PCOS from the day she had her first period as a teenager. She told us this 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 I can be so serenely happy.”

Her AMH was 266 when she first started. When she went for a retest, her AMH had dropped to 164.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition affecting how a woman’s ovaries work. It occurs when a woman’s hormones are out of balance. The exact nature of hormone imbalance seems not to be well understood. Whatever the exact cause, hormonal imbalance leads to the growth of ovarian cysts (benign masses on the ovaries). PCOS can cause problems with a woman’s menstrual cycle, fertility, cardiac function, and appearance.

Polycystic ovaries contain a large number of harmless follicles, up to 8mm (0.3 inches) in size. The follicles are under-developed sacs in which eggs develop. In PCOS, these sacs are often unable to release an egg, meaning ovulation often doesn’t take place.

The NHS PCOS website states:
It’s difficult to know exactly how many women have PCOS, but it’s thought to be very common, affecting about 1 in every 10 women in the UK.
More than half of these women do not have any symptoms.

The common signs and symptoms of PCOS:

How is PCOS diagnosed?

The 3 criteria for PCOS diagnosis:

A formal diagnosis of PCOS is usually made when you have at least two of the three main features.

Since high AMH and testosterone are associated with PCOS, a PCOS Profile test consisting of these two hormones is therefore a simple and quick diagnostic tool for PCOS especially that this test is inexpensive and simple to carry out. Moreover, this test gets to the root of the problem as hormone imbalance is the cause of PCOS. For arranging a PCOS profile test, please click here.

Diagram of the female reproductive system, drawn with Chinese calligraphy, TCM Healthcare — London fertility clinic

What are the impacts of PCOS on fertility?

Irregular periods means it is difficult to determine the timing of ovulation. This creates problems for couples who would like to plan their intercourse, not to mention the general 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 self explanatory. Conventional medicine treatment may include prescribing contraceptives or diabetic medication. The former may present problems when a woman intends to conceive. The latter is generally found to be ineffective (conventional medical estimates only about 5% respond to treatment). Additionally, some patients report unpleasant side effects.

Women with PCOS tend to have high testosterone levels. It is well-known that too much testosterone delivered to follicles (which commonly occurs in older women with a diminished ovarian reserve, as well as 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 “PCOS patients undergoing ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilisation are at increased risks of impaired oocyte developmental competence, implantation failure and pregnancy loss”. It went on to recommend “new clinical strategies to optimise developmental competence of PCOS oocytes should target correction on the entire follicle growth and oocyte development process”.

All up, the subjective experience of patients and the objective scientific evidence suggests PCOS patients are likely to be less successful in both natural pregnancy and IVF treatments, due to the patients’ having poor egg quality, or not well-developed eggs at all times.

How do we treat PCOS?

Conventional Western medicine believes there is no cure for PCOS; its focus tends to be about managing the symptoms using medication. 

At TCM Healthcare, we regularly treat patients with PCOS. The foundations of our clinical practice are 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, ie hormone results before and after treatment, antral follicle scan, successful IVF cycles and natural pregnancies.

Our approach is to use natural herbal remedies and acupuncture to strengthen and regulate the reproductive system. In particular, the focus is to improve the endocrine system and function. As the US scientists suggest in the paper cited earlier, we target the correction of the entire follicle growth and oocyte development process through nurturing and strengthening the reproductive system as a whole.

The visible outcomes are:

There are no known adverse side effects and the condition, once treated successfully, is unlikely to come back.

Patients come to us with their most recent AMH and testosterone test results, and prolactin test results if they haven’t had a period for over 3 months (the tests need to be less than 3 months old). We do an hour-long first consultation, in which we do non-invasive and pain-free Chinese medical diagnostic procedures, to understand your particular condition and circumstances thoroughly.

Our specialist prescribes a unique herbal formula, usually consisting of around 20 kinds of herbs, from which you will make drinks and consume twice a day for 18 days in a month.

A month after the first consultation, you will be done with the first round of herbal remedy. We do a second consultation, lasting 30 minutes, doing another diagnostic procedure to see how well you’ve responded to the treatment. Another prescription will be written.

This monthly cycle will repeat 3 or 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. 

When patients would like to combine our treatments with IVF, a regular period will increase the chances of IVF success. In some cases, patients reported IVF specialists found, through scans, their PCOS had disappeared.

Our clinical record

Patients with PCOS usually have exceptionally high AMH levels. A reduction in AMH means a reduction of cysts in the ovaries. If you think you may have it, test if you have PCOS here.

Patient N.O.

Aged 29

AMH

Nov ’22

23.1

Jun ’23

17.1

Patient B.U.

Aged 40

AMH

Sept ’22

7.1

Jun.’23

4.7

Patient S.M.

Aged 34

AMH

May ’22

105

Aug ’22

62.1

Patient B.C.

Aged 38

AMH

Apr ’22

18.2

Aug ’22

12.4

Patient O.L.

Aged 38

AMH

May ’21

16.6

Dec ’21

10.9

Patient M.D.

Aged 30

AMH

Apr ’21

35.5

Aug ’21

29.1

What are our fees? 

The fees come to about £480 to £530 a month on average. Given our success rate, the fees of our treatment programme compares very favourably with IVF — all 3 courses (9 months) of our treatment comes out to be around £4,500 whereas the minimum all-inclusive fee for one IVF cycle stands at £6,000.

How often do I need to come? 

Once a month. Most patients come from 3 to 9 months. Some combine our treatment with further IVF cycles.

What to expect during a consultation

A traditional Chinese medical consultation involves the following steps.

Observation

The practitioner may scrutinise your complexion, eyes, tongue, and movements to gain insight into how your organs are functioning. The tongue is a particularly important source of information, and its colour, body, coating, and moisture will all be taken into account.

Assessment

The practitioner assesses the patient’s energy and general condition by taking into account your body heat, odour, skin sensitivity, and uses other senses to gain an insight into the your condition.

Taking a history

To gain a full picture, the practitioner will ask detailed questions about your complaint and your medical history. They will want to find out whether your problems vary at all according to the time of year and your diet, feelings or emotions.

Pulse diagnosis

This can provide a highly sensitive and detailed picture of your general health. The practitioner will take a number of different ‘pulses’ using three fingers put on the wrist of each hand of the patient. This enables him to gain further information about the quality and functioning of the five major organs. The practitioner will take account of your general health and strength, as well as all of your symptoms, whether they seem to you to be connected or not. This will be the basis for deciding on the best treatment.

Follow-up

Monthly consultations are required to gauge your progress. The prescriptions will be devised accordingly — for treating a changing condition, a fixed single herb or formula is unlikely to be effective over time.

Patients want to know how long they need to see us for. We say after 3 months of treatment, we will review progress, retesting hormones and check subjective experience, such as period cycle regularity and sexual interest. If they are at normal levels, we discharge the patients.

If they are better but still need further improvement, patients may need second course of treatment at the same or less intensity.

Typically, women see us for 3 courses of treatment, ie 9 months total.

The point is that the way we treat patients means they should not rely on our treatment for too long. Their improved health and function should stay with them if they look after their health.

A second opinion service

We have just launched a second opinion service where you can send us your hormone test results, sperm test results and other results. Consultations will be done on the phone and it will not be a face-to-face medical consultation.

Since we work with IUI, IVF, ICSI, egg and sperm freezing specialists, we can explore a full range of options with you prior to your committing to a course of actions that may be best for you. There is no charge for this service.

We offer this service in good faith based on our clinical experience and our work with partner agencies such as IVF specialists. We do not accept any liability and we will urge you to triangulate opinions given with your own doctors before you decide what may be best for your circumstance.

Book an appointment!

Call us any time on 0207 096 0283 or fill out our enquiry form.

We would like to see the following test results (less than 2 months old):

If you have not done them yet, we can arrange them for you. Results come out in 1–3 days.

A booking fee of £100 (refunded when you attend) will be processed at booking. 

Late cancellation fee £50
We appreciate that you might not be well or have urgent matters to attend. As a result you may have to postpone the appointment. We would like to have at least 24 hours' advance notice. A late cancellation fee of £50 is payable if advance notice is not given.

Are there patients we cannot help?

Yes. No medical system is foolproof and medical practitioners, however good, are not omnipotent. As great as our success rates are, they are not 100%. There are times patients do not respond to our treatments despite our best efforts.

Delayed improvements are possible when patients rest a little. However, even with rest, patients may still not respond well. Fortunately, these cases are in the minority. We minimise the number of these cases by trying to understand our patients’ conditions as much as possible before taking them on. We minimise time and financial commitments from patients by insisting they have hormone or sperm test results prior to treatment, and to get retested after 3 months — following our evidence-based approach.

At TCM Healthcare, we will always have your best interests in mind and we will do our best.