Premature ovarian failure and early menopause


Isabella first came to see us in August 2017. Her FSH went down from 80 (after a year) to 69 after another 3 months) to 42 (after an additional 7 months). She got pregnant in 2 months then.

“We are so happy to have got to this point. Conceiving naturally was something that we had been led to believe was impossible for us. Throughout the treatment Professor Au and Professor Li have been amazingly kind, understanding and encouraging. The completely natural treatment is unlike anything I have experienced before and requires a certain amount of dedication and patience, but it is thanks to this treatment that my body has gained balance and reproductive function. My husband and I are so very grateful for the professional and truly remarkable treatment we have received, including important aftercare. I would highly recommend TCM Healthcare to other young women with a diagnosis of Premature Ovarian Failure.”

Betty lost her period for some months before she came to us, at the age of 40. Her doctor suggested she was approaching menopause and nothing could be done. She saw us for 6 months. Although her period did not come back, and her AMH did not improve in this time, we found her reproductive and general health improved.

“Following the very disappointing AMH results I had after the 6 cycles (I think) of Chinese herbs, I did not see my period for 6 months. My period came a month after and following this I used an ovulation kit which gave me a positive reading and we tried to conceive. We were successful and I’m now 24 weeks pregnant with twins!! All is well so far with the pregnancy. I just wanted to let you know and say thank you for your support and positivity at what was a very difficult time for me.”

Miriam was a young student, 27, from the Middle East who had not had menstrual cycles for many years. She flew to London every month to be treated by us. In the second month, her menstrual cycles restarted.

“I have good news. Since this morning I saw some tiny blood in the toilet tissue several times. Is that real period? I don’t believe it. I am so happy.”

Premature ovarian failure (POF), also known as premature ovarian insufficiency or primary ovarian insufficiency, is the loss of ovarian function before age 40. It is diagnosed when a woman does not have periods, has an abnormally high level of FSH and abnormally low level of oestrogen. 

The onset age can be as early as the teenage years, or can even exist from birth, but varies widely. If a girl never begins menstruation, it is called primary ovarian failure. In practice, when a woman reports a lack of period over time, two FSH measurements, with a 1-month interval between them, have been a common diagnostic procedure.

Women with POF may find they have additional health issues, including:

  • Osteoporosis or decreased bone density
  • Cardiovascular risks
  • Arthritis (especially in young women)
  • Higher level of anxiety and depression

The causes for specific cases are often unknown. Scientific literature cites many causes, including genetics, autoimmune diseases, smoking, radiation and/or chemotherapy, enzyme defects, resistant ovaries.

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

Once diagnosed, conventional medical practitioners may prescribe HRT to deal with symptoms of menopause; IVF with donor eggs may be suggested. We at TCM Healthcare have a good track record of success in helping women with premature ovarian failure.

One thing is clear: Women with premature ovarian failure can be treated: Our clinical experience tells us the younger you are, the more likely you will respond to our treatment faster and more positively. For a detailed account written by Hannah who is one of our POF clients, please click here.

We make a distinction between ovarian failure on the one hand, which is a result of the natural process of menopause, even though it starts earlier than the average age of 51, and severe hormonal imbalance which is a result of the organ system dysfunction. We are unlikely to be able to fight the former which is a natural process, but we have good track record of treating the latter by improving the function of organ systems that produce hormones with a view to restore hormonal balance.

Prognosis is better if you are younger than 45. It is much harder if you are over 45 as menopause may have indeed occurred naturally, albeit early, so it would be difficult to reverse the process.

We think you are likely to respond well to our treatment if you match some of these criteria:

  • You are younger than 45
  • You have not used HRT yet
  • Your FSH is fluctuating rather than continuing to go up

We only accept patients whom we think have a good chance of success due to the time and financial commitment involved.

Read more on our blog page.

How do we help?

Patients bring us their test results — Female Fertility Profile test and AMH test (AMH is optional) — and medical record. If you have not done these tests in the last 3 months, we can help arrange them, with results coming out the next day. We do a first consultation lasting 30 to 40 minutes, in which we carry out non-invasive and pain-free Chinese medical diagnostic procedures, in order 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 test carried out. Most patients see improvements in their hormone results. Many patients report feeling of cramps; sore, tender or heavy breasts; loss of arthritic symptoms; ie symptoms associated with menstrual cycles. Some report bleeding even during the first course of treatment. 

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.


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.


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.


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 collectively referred to as Menopause profile test (less than 3 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.