Treating PCOS

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

Are you troubled by infertility and not finding a solution? Are you suspecting you have PCOS? Or have you been recently diagnosed with PCOS by your doctor?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, take some time to read on, you may find help and treatment for yourself! There is an answer for PCOS and with no side effects of the medications too.

PCOS is a common condition in 5-10% of young women, often found with the biggest concern of infertility. The common and most obvious symptoms of or related to PCOS are:

  • Hirsutism (Increased Hair Growth)

  • Persistent Acne

  • Amenorrhea (absence of period) OR Irregular Periods

  • Enlarged Polycystic Ovaries (Ultrasound would show >12 small follicles sized between 2-9mm in each ovary on both sides)

  • Raised level of male hormones (Androgen)

  • A common symptom of being overweight (but lean women can also have PCOS)

  • Infertility / Miscarriages

The symptoms are caused due to the pituitary gland overworking the ovary and produce a high level of androgen than it should.

How or when should a test be done for PCOS? When you experience two or more of the above symptoms, so this includes a physical examination. You should discuss with your GP/doctor to do a blood test for hormone levels (mainly noting your androgen level) and an ultrasound.

In western medicine, the cause for PCOS remains unknown other than the contribution of genetic factors. It is often associated with other chronic health conditions such as diabetes (The high level of insulin also contributes to the stimulation of the ovary producing too many androgen hormones), high blood pressure.

Doctors often treat for one of the symptoms (most of the time targeting at increased hair growth, irregular period, infertility, and acne) and not all of the symptoms, but it does not help with regulating the body constitution and treating the root cause that results in PCOS, once the treatment stops the symptoms would occur again; While in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatments, the causes and syndromes that contribute to PCOS can be differentiated according to patients lifestyle, diet and therefore treatment can be provided to also help resolve the symptoms related to it including acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions.

Western medicine treatment often includes providing contraceptive pill (Ginet 84), metformin, Spironolactone, and Cyproterone acetate, but along with it also comes a whole lot of other possible side effects.

In TCM, PCOS isn't a condition but is differentiated under irregular periods, amenorrhea, infertility, or abdominal mass. The root cause for PCOS is due to kidney deficiency. The kidney is a primary organ for the fundamental yin and yang in our body, and stores the fundamental essence, "Tian Gui", which is an essential substance for reproduction, growth & development, and the maturation of the body.

Therefore, when kidney qi is deficient, and the Tian Gui in the body is not filled, the penetrating and conception vessels in the body become empty and cannot regulate the qi to vaporize the fluid in the body, thus accumulates in the lower energizer of the body as phlegm over time, and blocks the uterine vessels.

Other important organs associated and are affected in PCOS are the liver and spleen.

The liver is the primary organ for storing blood, which is the fundamental substance for woman, when the liver blood is deficient (or empty), it is unable to nourish the body and results in deficient heat, which then affects the regulation of the blood along the penetrating and conception vessel that enters the uterus, this results in the symptom of having breast tenderness and distension and irregular periods.

When the Liver function is irregular and contains stagnant heat (manifesting as acne, dry skin), it can counteract on Spleen (based on 5 element theory - The liver wood counteracts on spleen earth) and thus affects its function in transforming and transporting fluids, so fluid inside the body accumulates into phlegm dampness over time, thus resulting in weight gain.

The primary root cause for PCOS is kidney deficiency, and it may also be accompanied by other syndromes in the body depending on the diet, lifestyle that causes it.

  • Stagnant Liver Heat: Irregular period, breast distension before and/or during the period, overweight, increased hair growth, dry skin, acne on the face, dryness in the mouth with thirst, prefers cold drinks, thin white or yellow coating, taut pulse.

  • Phlegm dampness accumulation in the body: Obese, tired limbs, corpulent tongue with thick coating, phlegm in the throat.

  • Qi stagnation with blood stasis: breast and abdominal distension (bloating), constipation, dark complexion, unsmooth period flow or amenorrhea, uterine bleeding (prolonged bleeding for more than 7 days, or spotting between periods), lower abdominal cramps before or during the period, dark purplish tongue colour with dark prickle spots on the side of the tongue.

The primary treatment principle of TCM for PCOS involves: Activating the blood to remove stasis, tonifying the spleen to resolve dampness, promoting qi circulation to resolve phlegm. The pattern of the treatment adheres to the phases of the menstrual cycle:

  1. After period during the follicular phase: Tonify & Nourish the kidney - Stimulate follicular development Activating the blood to remove stasis, tonifying the spleen to resolve dampness, promoting qi circulation to resolve phlegm.

  2. Before or during ovulation: Activating the blood to remove stasis, promote transformation between Yin and Yang - Stimulate ovulation, to allow the eggs to burst from its follicle.

  3. Post ovulation, during the Luteal Phase: Tonify & Nourish the kidney, regulate liver: To allow the development of corpus luteum and release progesterone.

  4. Before period, Luteolysis (end of luteal phase): Activate the blood and regulate the menstruation (Period when Yang moves into Yin phase, - Allow elimination of endometrium (thickened lining of the uterus) through the vagina as menstrual blood; removing old blood to allow new red blood cells to form

Acupuncture points to use such as:

  • Yong Quan (Gushing Spring), KI-2 然谷 Ran Gu (Blazing Valley), KI-7 復溜 Fu Liu (Returning Current), BL-23 腎俞 Shen Shu (Kidney Shu),

  • Ovulation - REN-4 關元 Guan Yuan (Gate of Origin), REN-6 氣海 Qi Hai (Sea of Qi), REN-3 中極 Zhong Ji (Center Pole), M-CA-18 子宮 Zi Gong (Palace of the Child), SP-10 血海 Xue Hai (Sea of Blood), BL-17 膈俞 Ge Shu (Diaphragm Shu)

  • Luteal Phase - LI-3 太衝 Taichong (Great Rushing), SP-6 三陰交 San Yin Jiao (Three Yin Intersection),

  • Luteolysis - KI-3 太溪 Tai Xi (Supreme Stream), ST-36 足三里 Zu San Li (Leg Three Miles)

Here is some simple lifestyle Advice:

  • Avoid Cold Icy Food/Drinks (No icecreams!) have warm and hot drinks!

  • Have regular meals

  • Avoid eating too much sweet food, spicy, fried foods

  • Manage your stress level, keep your mood relaxed and calm

  • Sleep before 11 pm.

Traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions often go hand in hand with acupuncture treatments. There are many herbal prescriptions that will help to regulate your body while you are away from your acupuncture treatments to help maintain the treatment effect and improve healing results.

I hope you have found the above information useful, if you suffer from PCOS, get in touch with your nearest acupuncturist or TCM practitioner, or book online for a consultation with Amy for treatment and lifestyle advice. If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask us through 'Contact' via the website, or email us at

If you have any friends or family who suffer from PCOS, make sure to share this with them!

Also, leave a comment if you find the article helpful so it helps to encourage us to share more information like this in the future or even if you have questions to ask!

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