Endometriosis (En-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis
The heavy bleeding, backache, severe cramping, and abdominal pain and swelling that often accompany endometriosis are very receptive to acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture restores flow to the blood and the Qi, relieving the stagnation.
Common signs and symptoms of endometriosis include:
- Painful periods (dysmenorrhea). Pelvic pain and cramping may begin before and extend several days into a menstrual period. You may also have lower back and abdominal pain.
- Pain with intercourse. Pain during or after sex is common with endometriosis.
- Pain with bowel movements or urination. You’re most likely to experience these symptoms during a menstrual period.
- Excessive bleeding. You may experience occasional heavy menstrual periods or bleeding between periods (intermenstrual bleeding).
- Infertility. Sometimes, endometriosis is first diagnosed in those seeking treatment for infertility.
- Other signs and symptoms. You may experience fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or nausea, especially during menstrual periods.
Acupuncture is a form of treatment involving the insertion of very thin needles through a person’s skin at specific, strategic points on their body.
Western medicine recognizes acupuncture as a method to stimulate:
- connective tissue
It may help to:
- increase blood flow
- reduce inflammation
- cause endorphins to be released
Acupuncture is often considered an integrative and complementary medicine as opposed to an alternative one. A complementary medicine is one that works alongside other medical treatments. It doesn’t replace them.
Although studies have yet to be conclusive, there are some indications that acupuncture could help some people living with endometriosis pain. To be sure of what acupuncture can and can’t do to treat endometriosis, more clinical research studies are necessary.
Before making a final decision about any complementary procedure (such as acupuncture) discuss it with your doctor.
There’s little risk to acupuncture from a licensed acupuncturist. It might be an option for those who have not found treatment from other methods.
You should also talk with your medical provider about your use of this treatment and the results you’re experiencing.