Standardized vs individualized oligomenorrhoea, amenorrhoea treatment using Chinese herbs
Both standardized and individualized regimens of multiherb Chinese herbal medicine have comparable clinical efficacies and safeties when used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome-related amenorrhoea and oligomenorrhoea, a new study has shown.
The preliminary study involved 40 women between the ages of 18 and 40 years diagnosed with amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea. Those who were suspected to be pregnant, had other causes of menstrual irregularity actively trying to get pregnant, had a history of liver or kidney diseases or had a history of mental disorders were excluded.
The primary outcome was whether oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea were feasible as the main outcomes for randomized controlled trials. Effects of the treatment were evaluated according to safety, efficacy and acceptability.
Only 29 of the 40 participants were able to successfully complete the study. Hirsutism was the most common complaint reported, along with menstrual irregularity and weight.
Interestingly, after 6 months of the Chinese herbal medicine treatment, both standardized (mean difference [MD], 0.18±0.06; 95 percent CI, 0.06 to 0.29; p=0.0027) and individualized (MD, 0.27±0.06; 0.15 to 0.39; p<0.001) regimen groups reported significant in-group improvements in menstrual rate.
However, there was no reported significant difference in improvements between standardized and individualized treatments (p=0.26). Similarly, within-group improvements for hisrutism did not reach statistical significance when tested between groups.
There were no documented improvements in weight and BMI in either group. In terms of safety, kidney and liver function remained normal for both standardized and individualized regimens. Using a tablet for administration, as participant feedback suggested, might improve adherence.
The findings show that oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea are feasible outcomes for testing Chinese herbal medicine. Furthermore, primary findings imply efficacy, but without any difference between standardized and individualized treatment regimens.