Over the last 5 years, I’ve seen more and more women come into to my clinic Hanson Complete Wellness in Tampa, FL for acupuncture & herbal medicine to treat PCOS. Sometimes these women are working with a RE (reproductive endocrinologist) and going through the IVF process and sometimes they just want to get things under control and have babies naturally.
What is PCOS
PCOS is a collection of symptoms that affects 10% of women who are of reproductive age. It has a whole bunch of nasty symptoms that I’ll talk about in the next section. The thing is, Western medicine doesn’t have a good idea of what causes PCOS and unfortunately most doctors don’t have a good handle on how to treat it. Putting a women on birth control isn’t a solution to fixing the underlying cause of PCOS, so naturally, a lot of people show up in my clinic frustrated.
Common Symptoms of PCOS
- Irregular cycles or no cycle
- Abnormal hair growth
- LH/FSH ratio of 2:1 instead of 1:1
- Metabolic problems & weight gain
- Hormone imbalances
- Higher risk of HTN, diabetes, and heart disease
What I’m seeing more in the clinic
So while the above are the typical symptoms of PCOS, I’ve noticed that women are coming to me with a lot of other issues. This “new” group of women doesn’t have all of the typical symptoms of PCOS like hair growth and weight gain, often times they tend to be on the thin side. I think a contributing factor to this “new” group is the use of birth control for long periods of time. So here’s the symptoms I typically see:
- May or may not have cysts
- Long term use of birth control
- PMS symptoms (mood changes, cramping, breast tenderness, digestive changes)
- Digestive issues (IBS, reflux, diarrhea, constipation)
- Messed up sleep
How Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture help PCOS
The good news is that Chinese Medicine offers more solutions than just keeping you on a birth control pill for the rest of your life. My goal with acupuncture & chinese medicine is to determine what pattern you fit in & then use the tools I have to help your body function as best as it can. Once we get things regulated, in most cases, we can control and resolve your symptoms.
The first step is to determine what “type” you are. The different collection of symptoms you are experiencing tells me a lot about how your body is function (or isn’t functioning). So once I do my detective work, I can give you a “type”. This lets me come up with a strategy to help your body function like it’s supposed to. Usually this involves using acupuncture & chinese herbal formulas to regulate progesterone, clear out excess estrogen & testosterone & normalize the function of your HPG axis.
Depending on how severe your PCOS and symptoms are, this can take between 3-12 months.
If you’re trying to make a baby ASAP or thinking about IVF then give it at least 3 months to help regulate and adjust your hormones. This will give your eggs that are going to be stimmed a chance to be more hormonally regulated.
As a whole, PCOS responds really well when you get the right dose of Acupuncture & Chinese herbal medicine.
I treat PCOS every single day at my clinic, Hanson Complete Wellness here in Tampa, FL.