Acupuncture For Endometriosis
Acupuncture For PCOS
Endometriosis, PCOS and Female Balance
Endometriosis affects an estimated 1 in 10 women.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), an estimated 1 in 15 women.
These chronic conditions can seriously affect the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of an individual. Our approach in our Brisbane acupuncture clinic is to ensure we are following the most up to date research and considerations in regards to acupuncture for PCOS and acupuncture for endometriosis.
By combining the holistic nature of Traditional Chinese Medicine with an integrative Western approach, acupuncture endometriosis in Brisbane can attempt to alleviate and manage these conditions.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis can be an extremely painful condition where tissue, similar to that which normally lines the uterus (the endometrium), begins to grow outside the uterus. This tissue can stick to organs within the pelvic area – such as the ovaries, bowel, rectum and bladder (QENDO, 2022).
This tissue, which is outside the uterus and behaves just like the uterus lining itself, will begin to shed and bleed with each menstrual cycle (Hamilton & McNicol, 2011). This bleeding cannot be discharged properly so begins to build up over time causing inflammation, lesions, scar tissue and cysts. From a Western medicine perspective, the condition is not completely understood and as a result the root causes are not definitive (Ziegler et al., 2010).
Symptoms Related to Endometriosis
The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, which is often worse, and often times excruciating, during the period. Pain may also be experienced during or after sex, as well as with bowel movements or urination. Other symptoms include (QENDO, 2022):
Nausea and vomiting
Bowel movement changes
Headaches and migraines
Nausea and vomiting
Bowel movement changes
Headaches and migraines
What Causes Endometriosis?
The exact cause of endometriosis is still unknown but as more awareness surrounding the condition comes to light, more research is being done to discover its origins.
The more favoured explanation is that during the period, a backflow of menstrual blood containing endometrial cells travel back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity while the remaining blood flows out of the body from the cervix and vagina. These endometrial cells are then deposited outside the uterus where they attach and begin to grow.
Some research has suggested that traces of the endometrium already exist within the abdominal cavity at birth. In other words, the cells that line the pelvic and abdominal cavities originate from embryonic cells and have the potential to concentrate and become endometrial cells.
From a genetic standpoint, we do know that there is a link as women with mothers or sisters who suffer from endometriosis are 6 times more likely to have the condition themselves.
(World Health Organisation, 2021; Ziegler et al., 2010)
Endometriosis and Infertility
With endometriosis comes an increased amount of inflammation within the pelvic cavity and throughout reproductive organs. This makes the environment of the uterus less than ideal for conception resulting in lower chances of fertilisation, implantation, and embryo growth.
Adhesions and lesions formed within the reproductive organs and pelvic cavity can also obstruct the pathway of an egg and sperm through the fallopian tubes, leading to reduced changes of fertilisation of an egg and reduced chances of conception.
(World Health Organisation, 2021)
What is PCOS?
PCOS is a hormonal disorder that is common among women of reproductive age. Women experiencing PCOS may have infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods or excess levels of the hormone androgen. The ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs.
The causes of PCOS are unclear but some research points toward three main areas (Khan et al., 2019):
Genetics – Genes seem to play a part in PCOS being passed on through families
Insulin Resistance – Women whose cells can’t utilize insulin properly have a 70% chance of having PCOS
Internal Inflammation – Women experiencing bodily inflammation, due to other internal issues, seem to experience PCOS
PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility. Because of the hormone imbalance, eggs from the ovaries either become fragmented in their release or fail to release all together, thereby preventing any change of fertilization (Khan et al., 2019).
Women with PCOS have an increased risk of metabolic syndrome which can be associated with obesity and metabolic features. This increases the chances of heart disease, diabetes and stroke (Kahal et al., 2018; Lim et al., 2018).
Repeated pauses in breathing during interrupted sleep and is known as sleep apnea. This arises in women who are overweight but the risk of sleep apnoea increases by up to 10 times for those with PCOS (Kahal et al., 2018).
Failure to ovulate means the uterine lining does not shed resulting in a build up of the lining. Over time this thickening can increase the risk of endometrial cancer (Khan et al., 2019).
How Can Acupuncture Help Treat Endometriosis and PCOS?
Research shows that acupuncture for PCOS and endometriosis may help promote blood circulation and assist in regulating hormones as well as creating an anti-inflammatory effect (Khan et al., 2019; Lim & Wong, 2010). Emerging literature has also demonstrated that acupuncture may promote acupuncture-mediated analgesia which is the relief of pain (Lim & Wong, 2010). It is also reported that acupuncture may induce signals that are transmitted to the central nervous system to induce an anti-inflammatory response (Zhu et al., 2011).
Further research is required to further reinforce these points, but current research gives acupuncture a promising position in supporting women with these conditions.
Acupuncture for PCOS
It is also reported that acupuncture for PCOS may induce signals that are transmitted to the central nervous system to induce an anti-inflammatory response to an area of the body, in this case, the pelvic area (Khan et al., 2019).
The focus in acupuncture endometriosis in Jindalee, would be to work towards alleviating the pain and inflammation related to PCOS, within the pelvic region. Acupuncture for PCOS may also help to manage, and in some cases improve, the symptoms that are attributed to both PCOS and endometriosis (Khan et al., 2019; Lim & Wong, 2010).
For more information regarding acupuncture for PCOS or acupuncture endometriosis in Brisbane, get in touch with us.