A new complementary medicine for women's health has been launched to assist the almost 1 in 5 women of reproductive age in Australia who are affected by menstrual cycle irregularities.
MEDIHERB® PCO Support has been developed specifically to support normal ovarian function, regulate menstruation, alleviate menstrual pain and help promote healthy mood.
In a recent human clinical trial it was co-prescribed with another herbal medicine, MediHerb® Tribulus Forte, along with diet and lifestyle interventions. The primary result was significantly improved menstrual regularity.
The product contains four herbs that have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to support normal ovarian function and relieve amenorrhoea.
Head of Research & Development, Dr Hans Wohlmuth, said the company was pleased to launch the product after it had featured successfully in a clinical trial that focused on women's health.
"We've been working closely with NICM, Australia's global leader in integrative and complementary medicine research at Western Sydney University to develop this product, and we're very pleased to be able to bring it to the market," said Dr Wohlmuth.
"We are confident it will meet the needs of many women affected by endocrine and reproductive health issues, who look to complementary healthcare practitioners for effective natural treatment options."
MEDIHERB® PCO Support is a clinically trialled herbal formulation that will benefit female patients experiencing a range of symptoms including amenorrhoea and irregularities of the menstrual cycle.
Question: Can you share your story with infertility?
Rachel Holton: My husband and I had been trying for a baby for over ten years. Of all my symptoms, this was the hardest to live with. For years, I have done everything possible and dealt with the excess hair growth, the weight, the bad skin, and being judged for it. It was hard but the pain that went along with infertility was unbearable. Now that I've had my children, I don't let the other symptoms bother me as much.
I found out I was pregnant after three months of being in the trial being run by NICM at Western Sydney University. I don't know exactly what triggered my pregnancy but the three months of taking the herbs and exercising as part of the trial, I fell pregnant with my first child. After this news I left the trial to focus on my exciting pregnancy. Since then, I've had two beautiful boys – Tristan (4 ½ years) and Levi (3 ½ years).
Question: What ovarian issues did you encounter?
Rachel Holton: I started noticing symptoms when I was about 12 years old. I had issues with my period, hormone issues, extra hair growth, bad skin, being overweight – a whole raft of different symptoms.
For a while, I put off getting checked out by my GP. When I finally did go to see the doctor, I was told that I was experiencing these symptoms simply because I was overweight and all would be solved if I improved my health and lost weight. Unfortunately however, when I tried to do this I found that it was incredibly difficult for me to lose weight.
I kept going back to the doctor and finally my hormones were tested. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and, while it was good to have the causes of my symptoms identified, I found that my body was not at all responsive to the treatments I undertook following this diagnosis.
Question: MediHerb® PCO Support was a key part of your treatment. How did you find out about this natural medicine?
Rachel Holton: Since the age of 12, I've been experiencing uncomfortable symptoms including issues with my period, hormone issues, extra hair growth, bad skin and struggling to maintain a healthy weight.
I met researcher Dr Susan Arentz (a naturopathic practitioner and herbalist) who introduced me to the clinical trial where I began taking MediHerb® PCO Support. After years of trying everything under the sun to help with my symptoms and struggling with fertility issues, I was very happy to participate and try a complementary medicine option. After three months I fell pregnant and stopped taking it.
Question: What else did you do when you started using MediHerb® PCO Support?
Rachel Holton: During the trial, MediHerb® PCO Support was prescribed with another herbal medicine, MediHerb® Tribulus Forte, along with diet and lifestyle changes. For example, a personal fitness trainer was introduced as part of the clinical trial. They worked with us on an exercise plan that pushed us to get fit and healthy. I was also eating a healthy diet at the time.
Question: What results did you get with this wholistic health support and using MediHerb® PCO Support?
Rachel Holton: This wholistic treatment helped to regulate my periods, alleviate some of my other symptoms and lose weight while in the trial.
Also, after ten years of trying to conceive, I fell pregnant while participating in the trial. The infertility issue was always the most difficult aspect of my diagnosis but I cannot say what exactly triggered my pregnancy. I'm just thrilled it happened for me and I now have two beautiful boys.
Question: What advice do you have for women who are struggling with infertility?
Rachel Holton: My advice for women struggling with infertility is to not give up and I'd like women to remember that they are allowed to hurt. The amount of people who told me, 'Don't worry, it will happen" or asked 'When are you having kids?" or suggested 'It's not meant to be" was hard – no one wants to hear that. I needed to be told that it was okay to cry, that it was okay to be upset. For people with loved ones who are struggling with infertility, be sensitive and be there for them.
It is very important to consult your GP about diagnosis and treatment of your symptoms. Should you wish to explore complementary therapies for the management of your symptoms, a qualified natural medicine practitioner like a naturopath or herbalist can prescribe quality herbal medicines and help you to integrate them into your broader treatment plan.
Question: What's next for your family?
Rachel Holton: Basically, I'd just like to raise well-adjusted little humans who are accepting of everyone. I've personally been a victim of being judged over the years over some of my symptoms like excess hair.
For this reason, I also want to contribute to raising awareness and understanding for women who are going through what I have, and still am going through. Many of the symptoms I've experienced are embarrassing and a real struggle to deal with so it is good for women to know that they aren't the only person experiencing them.
Interview by Brooke Hunter
MediHerb® PCO Support is a clinically trialled herbal formulation that may benefit female patients experiencing a range of symptoms including amenorrhoea and irregularities of the menstrual cycle.
MediHerb® PCO Support has been developed specifically to support normal ovarian function, regulate menstruation, alleviate menstrual pain and help promote healthy mood.
Please consult your natural health practitioner about using MediHerb® PCO Support. Call MediHerb® on 1300 654 336 to find a qualified practitioner near you.