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Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Case
Over the last few months I have been treating a young patient with PCOS---polycystic ovarian syndrome. This is not an easy problem to treat and I have to say it has also been a challenge to me but thankfully I can say progress is being made with every visit.
The patient was officially diagnosed with the problem by the specialists and presents herself as a typical type of such patients---menstrual pain and hyper-androgenous signs such as acne. While the patient had come to me primarily to deal with her severe menstrual cramps, the acne is just as severe. What has added to this problem is that the patient has been having the habit of taking cold smoothies over the last many years. In Chinese Medicine, doing such things will invite coldness directly into the reproductive organs and cause internal constriction, micro-bleeding, spasming and overral reproductive malfunction. What's worse, the patient also said she's been having menstrual pain ever since her first period.
Her menstrual pain is quite severe actually---it is actually debilitating to a certain degree and causes vomiting. In the past I have treated similar cases so her situation doesn't really surprise me. Despite her medical diagnosis my initial idea was that this should be a simple case. We decided to start with weekly acupuncture treatments to see how she would respond. My understanding was that young people such as herself generally respond quite well to acupuncture so perhaps we may not even need to use any herbs.
Her first treatment preceded just a few days before her period and it seemed to respond quite well. Under the circumstance I decided to continue weekly acupuncture treatments until her next period. When her menstruation arrived again in the next cycle, it was also not bad. Decreased pain on the onset of the period but unfortunately worsened again in the subsequent days of the period. At this moment it became clear to me that if herbal medicine was not incorporated then we would not progress further. Alas the following weeks of treatment comprised of acupuncture in junction with herbal medicine I specifically formulated for her condition.
Interesting turn of events---the patient's period are usually on time, but this time it was delayed. I didn't really care, because in the course of treatment the body responds in various ways, and in my experience some women do have delayed periods. This is not really a cause for concern. I continued the treatment as I needed to.
One day I got a message from the patient telling me her period finally came. Based on her description, the pain was quite severe just like before. However what is different this time is even more important. In previous times the menstrual pain was accompanied by whole abdominal pain with back and hip pain as well. This time however the pain became more localized to the lower abdomen and there was no back/hip pain.
My current prognosis is that this patient will continue to improve in the coming months of treatment, but it will not be easy because the problem seems quite ingrained. Regardless, hopefully if possible she can even go back to the specialists to see if there are any objective changes in the ovary where the cysts are.