Acupuncture can treat the pain associated with endometriosis (menstrual cramps) and help control bleeding during heavy periods. Acupuncture can also help with pain during intercourse, and urgent and painful bowel movements and urination. When endometriosis affects fertility, acupuncture can help infertility and regulate the menstrual cycle.
What is endometriosis? What causes endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a gynecological condition caused by cells from the uterus (endometrium) living outside of the uterus itself. Endometrial cells commonly appear in the peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity, and the fallopian tubes or ovaries. Even though the cells aren’t in the uterus, they respond to the hormones of the menstrual cycle and will bleed during the period, wherever they are.
The exact cause of endometriosis is not known. There are a few possibilities: menstrual cramps causing menstrual blood to flow into the fallopian tubes instead of out through the vagina, surgical scars catching endometrial cells, or an immune disorder blocking the body’s ability to recognize and remove endometrial cells outside of the uterus.
What are the symptoms of endometriosis?
Symptoms of endometriosis are pain and infertility. Pain can occur during periods, urination, intercourse or having a bowel movement. Chronic pelvic pain is also common. Between 30 and 50% of women with endometriosis experience infertility.
How does acupuncture treat endometriosis?
Acupuncture treats endometriosis by regulating the body’s energy and blood flow to reduce and stop the pain. Acupuncture can also help to alleviate the symptoms of heavy bleeding and menstrual cramps associated with endometriosis. Herbal medicine is also helpful for treating the signs and symptoms that present with endometriosis.