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In some women with a history of endometriosis, even after laparoscopic surgery, symptoms persist.
The most common symptoms are:
- Pain in lower abdomen before and during periods (usually worse than “normal” menstrual cramps)
- Pain during or after sexual activity
- Painful urination/bowel movements during periods
- Heavy bleeding
- Other gastrointestinal upsets such as diarrhea, constipation, nausea
In addition, many women with endometriosis suffer from:
- Chemical sensitivities
- Frequent yeast infections
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Published Online: 13 Dec 2019 https://doi.org/10.1089/acu.2019.1379
Background: Endometriosis is the cause of chronic pelvic pain in 70% of all chronic pelvic pain cases in women in the United States. Traditional Chinese Medicine may present either an adjunct or optional treatment for women with chronic pelvic pain due to endometriosis.
Objective: To detail possible effects of Traditional Chinese Medicine on pelvic pain secondary to endometriosis through presentation of a single case.
Design, Setting, Patient: A nulliparous 43-year-old woman presented with endometriosis and fibroids. The patient was treated twice weekly for a 6-month period in a Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic in Berkley, CA. Treatment included 6 months of acupuncture at the following points: CV 3, 4, and 5; ST 25 and 36; GV 20; LI 4; LV 3; KI 3; SP 6 and 9; and Zi Gong Xue and Ah Shi points along with 1 month of herbal treatment in the form of both tea and tea pills.
Intervention: Acupuncture and herbal formulas.
Main Outcome Measures: Decrease in pain level and symptoms measured by patient assessed value of pain through the Pain Quality Assessment Scale.
Results: Patient overall disposition and pain level improved for a 6-month period.
Conclusions: Acupuncture did have some positive effect on pain management.
TCM AND ENDOMETRIOSIS
According to the theories of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), endometriosis is known as “menstrual pain” due to its symptoms. It is not categorized as a disease in TCM, and is described as a blood stasis syndrome with formation of abdominal lumps.
Blood stasis is a condition where small vessels are not capable of carrying blood flow normally. It is the cause of severe pain, especially in the lower abdomen during your menstruation, and is believed to be responsible for cases of excessive menstrual bleeding and infertility. Those with blood stasis have abnormal blood flow, which may trigger a negative response from the immune system due to the endometrial cells growing outside the uterus.
HOW CAN TCM HELP
Blood stasis is said to be related to a stagnant qi (which restricts blood circulation), and kidney yang deficiency (which affects metabolism). Thus, TCM can ease endometriosis by using:
- Herbs that vitalize blood circulation, including danshen (red sage), chishao (red peony) and taoren (peach kernel)
- Acupuncture to relieve pain, regulate blood circulation and correct qi energy imbalances. Some acupuncture points that are targetted include baihui (top of the head), yintang (halfway point between the eyebrows) and guanyuan (lower abdomen).
If you have had a laparoscopy and some or all of the above symptoms persist, we invite you to schedule your consultation with The Berkley Center for Gynecologic Wellness. Acupuncture and herbal medicine show remarkable results ameliorating or greatly reducing these symptoms.
We are licensed and board certified acupuncturists, and board certified in herbal medicine. We specialize in gynecologic health and wellness. We are here for you.
Schedule your consultation today by calling (212) 685-0985