What is adenomyosis?
Adenomyosis is where the cells of the uterus that bleed in menstruation grow in the muscle of the uterus. When menstruation happens, it bleeds into the muscle creating distension in the lower abdomen. It can cause extreme pain, heavy bleeding, exhaustion and disruption to quality of life. It is believed 1 in 5 women may have this chronic condition. It usually effects women of reproductive age, between 30-50 years and resolves after menopause.
I have more and more women coming into my clinic with this diagnosis lately. Often it is because they are suffering from period pain, struggling to fall pregnant, or they have abdominal bloating that just doesn’t go away. Their lower abdomen might be warm to touch, they experience painful periods, abdominal bloating and heavy bleeding. Heavy bleeding can cause fatigue.
Period pain is common does not mean normal
Periods are not meant to hurt. They are not meant to effect your life. Women think this is normal because that is what they have always experienced. Their friends might, their mum might so it is thought to be normal. Period pain is common! But it is not normal.
Periods are also not meant to be so heavy that you need to take time off and hide while you bleed. They are not meant to cause fatigue and exhaustion.
From a Chinese medicine point of view, we are looking at blood congestion in the uterus causing heat. This blood congestion blocks the flow of blood creating heat. Heat dries the fluid of the blood creating more heat and stagnation. The heat then causes the blood to become reckless, this results in heavy bleeding.
You are not just a sum of your bits
When we look at painful periods or heavy bleeding with the lens of Chinese Medicine, we don’t just consider the uterus and pelvic area. Women are not just bits, they are a whole person. We become a detective to find out what is going on. A diagnosis includes questions about sleep, lifestyle and emotions. We look at your digestive system and how your body functions as a whole. Chinese medicine treats people not diseases. We look at what is contributing to this inflammation and heat in the uterus.
Acupuncture for pain management
Acupuncture is well known for its pain relieving effect. A study on the effect of acupuncture in the treatment of adenomyosis showed acupuncture reduced pain experienced during menstruation and improved quality of life. Adenomyosis is extremely painful and cause heavy bleeding. Treatment is to focus on reducing pain, nourishing blood and prevent excessive loss of blood, improve fatigue and improve the quality of your life.
Herbal medicine and adenomyosis
In Chinese medicine theory, adenomyosis falls under blood stasis with heat. Gynaecology is a rich area in Chinese medicine history. There are some amazing formulas in the classical textbooks for problems with the menstrual cycle. From pain to heavy bleeding. A big focus is to also restore the blood lost through heavy bleeding. Heavy blood loss, from a Chinese medicine perspective, can cause problems with digestion, sleep and emotional health. This is a key area to restoring your health and wellbeing.
Uterine therapy and adenmyosis
At Mei Hua Chinese Medicine clinic we also offer courses of abdominal and uterine therapy. These treatments are usually done in an intensive of 3-6 treatments over a couple of weeks. This therapy focuses on relieving congestion in the pelvic region. It is an external therapy and non evasive. It works to improve the flow of blood, lymph and qi to improve functioning to your organs and prevent further progression of chronic disease. The aim is to improve your health and wellbeing.