Chinese Medicine and Endometriosis
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can help relieve the symptoms and cause of endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition which appears to be diagnosed more and more in our current era. This is due to the increasing frequency of investigative surgery and thus a diagnosis can be reached. At present, laparoscopy is the only reliable way to diagnose endometriosis, which is conducted by gynocologists.
Endometriosis is a gynecological condition where cells of the endometrial lining are found outside of the uterus, and continue to grow. The cells most commonly adhere to the ovaries, uterine ligaments, fallopian tubes or even on the bowel or bladder. Patches of endometrial tissue can be of different appearance and display different behaviour. Endometriosis tissue not only varies in its appearance but also in how deeply it attaches to the different locations. This also influences signs and symptoms.
Endometriosis can cause infertility and this can be devestating for women who want to have children. Superficial endometriosis sits on the surface of the membrane and seems to be more implicated in infertility, while deeper endometriosis penetrates the underlying tissues and this causes pain. Endometriosis is a condition that is associated with the following signs and symptoms;
- Painful periods,
- Pain during intercourse,
- Spotting before periods,
- Low period flow, and
- Infertility or great difficulty falling pregnant.
Although the above symptoms are common in endometriosis, it is not always that these symptoms will be felt. There have been many women who have not even known that they have severe endometriosis, have fallen pregnant and were diagnosed accidently. Though we don't hear about these conditions often. Western medicine treats endometriosis by stopping the monthly period, thus stopping the bleeding aspect which causes the tissue to move outside the uterus. This can be done by continual use of the contraceptive pill or by mimicikng menopause. The length of treatment varies and women are recommended to fall pregnant after coming off treatment. However, this doesn't always work.
TCM treats all diseases from the signs and symptoms present. Depending on how long the disease has been present will determine how long it will take for Chinese Medicine to treat it. We say for every year you have had the disease or condition it takes a month to treat. Chinese medicine treats with acupuncture and herbal medicine. A patient normally takes the herbal medicine 3 times a day during the monthly cycle, and receives acupuncture weekly. This helps to improve the body's own healing abilities and to ensure fertility is resumed. If fertility is not the aim, then the painful symptoms are targeted and will be reduced.
TCM's treatment of infertility caused by endometriosis begins at the start of a cycle, this allows the cycle to produce a healthy egg and grow a new uterus lining. Our aim is to reduce or clear the endometrial lining outside of the uterus.
Combining Western and Chinese medicine can be an effective way of reducing infertility. As western medicine really doesn't have any answer to endometriosis other than surgery it can be combined with great results. For severe endometriosis surgery will be a great start and TCM can follow on with acupuncture and herbal medicine. If surgery is not desired, the result will still be the same, it will just take a little longer using acupuncture and herbal medicine.
For treatment options regarding endometriosis, contact us.