11th March 2013: PCOS and Chinese herbal medicine research study - common questions

As some of you know by now, I'm currently conducting a pilot study as part of my PhD with the University of Southampton and which has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).  This study forms the final project of my PhD and will help to determine whether or not women with PCOS are interested in using Chinese herbal medicine for their symptoms.

What is PCOS?

PCOS is the most common female endocrine disorder that affects women of reproductive age.  Common symptoms of PCOS include delayed or absent menstrual periods, weight gain, excessive hair growth, acne, depression and anxiety.  

What is your research about?

This particular research study is a feasibility and pilot study.  This means that we are interested in finding out whether or not it is possible to carry out a larger-scale study in the future and which will depend on a number of factors such as:

- are women with PCOS interested in using Chinese herbs for their symptoms?

- is taking Chinese herbs for 6 months acceptable to women with PCOS?

- are there measurable benefits from taking Chinese herbs?

Who can apply?

Women are eligible to apply who:

- are aged 18-44

- have been diagnosed with PCOS

- have delayed periods or no periods i.e. periods are typically more than 35 days apart

- have not been taking a hormonal contraceptive e.g. Dianette or mirena coil in the last 6 months

- are not currently pregnant or breastfeeding.

There are a number of other criteria that will also be checked before joining the study to make sure it it safe and suitable to take part.

Where can I get more information?

You can read more frequently asked questions and access a Participant Information Sheet via the study website by clicking on the following link:

the ORCHID study

Please also do not hesitate to get in touch directly if you have specific questions or concerns on:


07527 929 322


Thanks very much for your interest and for your support!


Lily Lai