According to Chinese medicine, PCOS is a mixed deficiency and excess condition, resulting from an inability of the body to transform, transport and evaporate fluids in the lower part of the body. The accumulation of water can enlarge the ovaries.

A prolonged illness or a constitutional weakness can affect the overall health of the body causing a sluggish digestive system. The Chinese believe that a sluggish digestive system can lead to the accumulation of fluid in the body and as a result body fluids may collect in the lower part of the body, causing the uterus and ovaries to receive an inadequate amount of warmth and a poor blood supply. Another possible cause of PCOS is the overconsumption of fatty and sugary foods. This can also adversely affect the functioning of the digestive system.

The long term use of contraceptive pills may have the affect of interfering with the body’s biofeedback mechanism. When the pill is stopped the body may have become so used to using artificial hormones that it fails to produce enough of it’s own hormones to replace them. As a result of these problems, the ovaries can stop functioning properly, thereby affecting the likelihood of ovulation.

PCOS can also be caused by long term stress or inflammatory illnesses. Both these can create inflammation in the body which will adversely affect the production of hormones and the circulation of blood.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Treatment

TCM seeks to correct the hormone imbalances which lead to PCOS. This is done by encouraging ovulation, improving egg quality and by preventing miscarriage. This is mainly done by improving the function of the digestive system to reduce the accumulation of unwanted fluid in the body as well as by encouraging the expulsion of excess fluid with the use of herbs which travel specifically to the ovaries and uterus and remove excess water, improve the blood circulation, warm the tissues and improve the overall metabolism of the body.

TCM combined with changes to diet is the most effective treatment for PCOS. IVF treatment for women with PCOS often produces few, poor quality eggs or the potential to suffer from OHSS, which can be life threatening. It is VERY important to treat PCOS with Chinese medicine BEFORE IVF treatment to prepare a woman’s body, so that treatment has a much better chance of success. It is also important to continue treatment during the early stage of pregnancy to help prevent miscarriage.