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Please note: The official recruitment of this study will start in May 2018 (planned, TBC).

This study involves using a standardised Chinese herbal medicines for symptoms and problems experienced by women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).  This study has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), a government research organisation and is led by a team of GPs and researchers from the University of Southampton. This study received ethical approval from Registration of Chinese Herbal Medicine and University of Southampton (version xx, date xx) and is registered on ISRCTN (Referenece number: xx). 

The purpose of this website is to provide patients, healthcare providers and associated organisations with further information about the ORCHID 2 study.

An Overview of the ORCHID 2 Study

As part of this study, eligible women with PCOS are entitled to a 6-month course of standardised Chinese herbal medicine treatment, including consultations with an experienced and registered herbalist, all Chinese herbs, and 3 checks on blood test free of charge.

The standardised herbal remedy consists of 4 herbs, which have been consensed by herbal experts under the consideration of synthesising current research evidence available, guidelines, textbooks, and historical documents.

We are looking to see if the standardised herbal remedy have an effect or not on a range of symptoms including:

  • Delayed or absent periods
  • Painful and heavy periods
  • Acne
  • Excessive hair growth
  • Problems controlling weight
  • Depression and anxiety

Women joining the study need to:

  • Have been diagnosed with PCOS
  • Have delayed or absent periods
  • Be aged 18-44
  • Have stopped taking any hormonal contraception in the last 6 months
  • Have had their thyroid function checked prior to the study and confirmed no abnormalities exist
  • Be able to attend consultations once a month for the first three months in either our London or Hertfordshire clinic
  • Be willing to take a 6-month break from trying for a baby.

Please note that other suitability criteria apply and will be checked through by a member of the study team before you join the study. 

Your safety is important to us and the 4 herbs used in this study are plant-based, GMP-certified and sourced from pre-approved herbal distributors.  You will be closely monitored by your herbalist throughout the study, and any queries can be escalated to experienced GPs who are part of the study team.  

More detailed information about the study can be found in our University project page and Participant Information Sheet