Can I use acupuncture for endometriosis and period pain? As a matter of fact the answer is yes! According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, 50% of infertile women have endometriosis. Many more are certainly undiagnosed. Endometriosis can only be diagnosed following laproscopy. At this time your physician gives a “score” of 1-4 based on location, amount and depth of the lesions. The standard of care for treatment is surgical excision which improves pain. However, it may not improve fertility. Undoubtedly acupuncture is an invaluable tool for managing the pain, inflammation and accompanying symptoms of endometriosis.
Another key point to consider is what makes up healthy menstrual cycle?
- 26-35 days and roughly the same length each month.
- Relatively pain free. Pain that does not resolve with over-the-counter medication or pain that is debilitating not normal. Nausea, vomiting, feeling faint or passing out is not normal.
- Moderate, bright red flow free of clots.
- Little to no premenstrual symptoms.
- There should be no bleeding outside the 2-7 day window of bleeding. Occasionally spotting at ovulation can be normal.
Especially if you have the following signs and symptoms, you may have endometriosis:
- Gradually increasing acute premenstrual pain
- Pelvic pain
- Pain in the sacral region of the spine
- Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
- Painful ovulation
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain when defecating
- Pain when urinating
- Pain radiating to the back
- Abundant irregular menstruation
- Blood in the stool
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Chronic fatigue
Accompanying symptoms may also include:
- Rectal bleeding
- Hematuria during menstruation
- Susceptibility to infections and allergies
At the same time, those with endometrosis are at higher risk of suffering from:
- Hyperthyroidism 6.6 vs. 1.50
- Fibromyalgia 5.9 vs. 3.40
- Chronic fatigue syndrome 4.6 vs. 0.03
- Rheumatoid arthritis 1.8 vs. 1.20
- Systemic lupus erythematosus 0.8 vs. 0.04
- Sjogren’s syndrome 0.6 vs. 0.03
- Multiple sclerosis
Our treatment strategy is a multipronged approach.
Our therapies can be used at any time or stage of the patients care especially for pain. They will not interfere with Western medical treatments. In the same way, these modalities can be used before and during IVF to imporve overall results.
In addition to acupuncture for endometriosis we utilize:
- Acupuncture throughout the cycle
- Low Level Laser therapy
- Glutathione antioxidant therapy via acupuncture point injection
- Chinese Herbal therapy -For fertility this is generally done three to four months prior to an IVF/IUI cycle as preparation. Otherwise herbs are given to reduce symptoms throughout your cycle. Commonly used formulas work to:
- Reduce cramping and pain
- Reduces IgM antibodies
- Induce a sedative effect
- Create an Antiproliferative effect
- Impart an Anti-inflamatory effect
- Promote the effects of Antioxidants
Herald of Medicine. 2005;17:566–568
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012(3):591391
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 591391
- Finally, adding Diet and lifestyle changes concurrantly with Acupuncture can improve results.
- Glow Castor Oil Packs for at home use
- Sacred Fire At home Moxa packs for home use. Moxibustion is the burning of herbs over specific points or larger areas to warm the surrounding tissues. It feels great and can reduce symptoms.
- Western supplements
- Contrast hydrotherapy for inflammation/autoimmune.
- Basic dietary changes to reduce inflammation are equally important.
In conclusion, acupuncture for endometriosis associated symptoms is an invaluable tool for improving quality of life. In addition, it is safe and offer little to no side effects. Moveover, when used concurrently with diet and lifestyle modifications the results are even better. It is important to realize you should consult with your western doctor to ensure you are getting then appropriate medical care.