polycystic ovary syndrome PCOS

How to self check for PCOS

by Physician Peh Tian Chi
14 February 2023

Understanding PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder in women which affects fertility,  metabolism and psychological health. The word “polycystic” means “multiple cysts”. This occurs in the ovaries when the underdeveloped follicles are unable to release the egg for ovulation. The absence of ovulation changes the levels of a group of hormones (mainly estrogen, progesterone, FSH and LH) that regulates the menstrual cycle.  Many symptoms of PCOS become prominent and post chronic health risk. 

PCOS, a Lifestyle Disease

PCOS has a wide range of symptoms and it often varies with age. Women with PCOS tend to not only be concerned about getting pregnant but also worry about the many health risk factors that it may cause. They often face challenges in managing their lifestyle and diet, which impacts their quality of life.

A healthy lifestyle is about having a healthy diet, active lifestyle and positive mental wellbeing. PCOS is often regarded as a lifestyle disease that is primarily based on the day to day habits of people. In today's urban lifestyle, we tend to forgo or forget how to eat right, sleep well and exercise regularly. 

A self check for PCOS not only makes you aware of your body health but also motivates you to make a lifestyle change

Look out for traces of PCOS with the below symptoms:

irregular absence period

Irregular Period

PCOS causes irregular, fewer or even absence of period. The disruption of the hormonal balance caused by PCOS results in a lack of ovulation and prevents the uterine lining from shedding off every month. 

TCM tea recommendation:

ginger, red date, wolfberry

hair growth

Excessive body hair growth

Hair growth, or hirsutism, due to high levels of androgen (male hormones)may cause the development of thick and dark hair growing on the upper lip, chin, chest, back, lower abdomen, upper arms and lower legs.

TCM tea recommendation:

lily bud, mint, lilyturf root, licorice

hair loss

Scalp hair loss

PCOS women tend to follow male pattern baldness where the scalp hair is thinner and may fall off easily.

TCM tea recommendation:

biota leaf, rehmannia, kudzu root, nut grass rizhome, red sage root


Acne outbreak

Male hormones can make the skin oilier than usual and cause breakouts of acne on the face, neck, chest and upper back. 

TCM tea recommendation:

tree poeny bark, crysanthemum, dandelion, burdock, red sage root

thicken darken skin

Velvety darken skin

Dark patches of skin may be seen on the neck, in the groin, and under the breast and armpit. 

TCM tea recommendation:

mulberry leaf, nut grass rizhome, red sage root, bai zhu, donkey-hide gelatin


Difficulty to conceive

Annovulation (not-ovulating) makes it hard for women to release eggs for fertilization. 

TCM tea recommendation:

dodder seed, rehmannia, golgi berry, ramie root, donkey-hide gelatin

obesity weight gain

Weight gain

For women with PCOS, maintaining a healthy weight can be a difficult struggle. PCOS makes it more difficult for the body to respond well to insulin thus building up sugar in the bloodstream leading to obesity. 

TCM tea recommendation:

lotus leaf, astragalus, tangerine peel, barley



The majority of people with PCOS have insulin resistance when the insulin cannot respond effectively to lower the blood sugar. This gives rise to risk of diabetes. 

TCM tea recommendation:

astragalus, lilyturf root, buckwheat, silk corn



PCOS in pregnancy may have a higher risk of miscarriage, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, preterm delivery, cesarean delivery. 

TCM tea recommendation:

dodder seed, raspberry fruit, rehmannia, bai zhu, donkey-hide gelatin


Raised cholesterols

Many PCOS women are overweight, thus increasing the risk of elevated  level of blood pressure and cholesterol post threat to metabolic syndrome such as heart disease and stroke

TCM tea recommendation:

hawthorn, cassia seed, mulberry leaf, red sage root, 

endometrium cancer

Endometrium cancer

High estrogen and low progesterone encourage thicker uterine buildup but lining is not shed properly. This hormonal imbalance causes the endometrium to become too thick and its cells altered, leading to a precancerous condition called endometrial hyperplasia which can progress to cancer. 

TCM tea recommendation:

barley, ze bei mu, red sage root, nut grass rizhome

depression anxiety

Mood changes

Physical disturbance and frustration about their ability to become pregnant can easily stress one, furthermore, the hormonal imbalance may increase the risk for anxiety and depression. 

TCM tea recommendation:

mint, rose bud, golgi berry, nut grass rihzome

sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea

This condition is a type of sleep-related breathing disorder whereby your breathing is momentarily cut off by blockage of airway . A common sign of sleep apnea is snoring or gasping for air during sleep.As the quality of sleep is affected, you may feel unrefreshing and you would feel sleepy and irritable throughout the day, 

TCM tea recommendation:

lily bud, mulberry leaf, tangerine peel, astragalus, bai zhu

Take-away Quotes: 

"Lifestyle change is a process that takes time and persevere effort. 

Start small goals, take one step at a time to make lasting. positive lifestyle."

How TCM helps to keep you away from PCOS

TCM is a holistic approach which oversees your body as a whole. Not only we work together to aim for a healthier lifestyle, but also adjust your body constitution and resolve each symptom of PCOS. We provide TCM herbs and nutritional guides to bring your body back to optimum conditions, and perform acupuncture treatments to modulate body functions and activities. 

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