Uterine Fibroids

Uterine Fibroids

The most ancient texts of Chinese medicine talk about uterine fibroids, and how acupuncture treats fibroids.  Modern research has shown acupuncture able to shrink fibroids under 3cm,  slow the growth of larger ones and halt new fibroids from forming. Acupuncture can also help with heavy periods, spotting, and breakthrough bleeding associated with fibroids.

What are uterine fibroids?

Uterine fibroids, also known as uterine myomas, leiomyomas, and fibromyomas, are tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus.  The name changes depending on what layer of the uterine wall the fibroid is in.  Fibroids are almost always benign, meaning not cancer.  Fibroids range in size – some smaller than a pea and others the size of a grapefruit.  It’s rare that a fibroid is very large.  Uterine fibroids often cause pain and heavy menstrual bleeding (heavy periods).  Fibroids press on the bladder, which causes frequent urination, or the rectum. Women with very large fibroids may look pregnant.

What causes uterine fibroids?   Who gets fibroids?

The causes of fibroids are unknown.  However, doctors think that fibroids are caused by multiple factors, like hormones and genetics. Doctors do know that levels of estrogen and progesterone can affect the size of fibroids.

They grow rapidly during pregnancy when hormone levels are high. They shrink when anti-hormone medication is used.  They also stop growing or shrink once a woman reaches menopause.

There are factors that can increase a woman’s risk of developing fibroids, like age, family history, ethnicity, being overweight and poor diet.  Women usually develop fibroids in their 30s and 40s

How does acupuncture treat uterine fibroids?

Acupuncture treats fibroids by regulating the body’s blood and energy (Qi).  Acupuncture can help diminish masses and accumulations, like fibroids, also through treating the body fluids. Certain acupuncture points “home” to the uterus, so treatments can be directed to the affected area.  By restoring harmony to the body’s systems overall, acupuncture can regulate the mechanisms that can cause fibroids to develop.

Herbal medicine is also very useful for treating fibroids. Most people have acupuncture once or twice a week, but herbs can be taken daily, which means each dose is a complete treatment at home or on the go.