What are Uterine Fibroids
Uterine Fibroids (also known as Uterine Myomas) are simply tumors that grow within the uterine wall during a woman’s child bearing years. These tumors are mainly non-cancerous but it is always safe practice to monitor them every once and a while. Many women do not even know they have them, as they are typically discovered by a health practitioner performing a pelvic exam or ultrasound. In general, they do not cause many problems and rarely require treatment.
What causes Uterine Fibroids
The definitive cause is still unknown (in Western Science), but research has found that it has a propensity to run in families.
How are Uterine Fibroids treated
Medical therapy and surgical procedures are able to shrink or remove fibroids if they cause you any discomfort or troublesome symptoms. (Here is a link to one of the surgical procedures often used called D and C.) According to Western practice, fibroids need not be removed unless they are causing symptoms such as: heavy bleeding/periods, irregular periods, and/or severe cramping with periods. Sometimes the sheer size of the mass alone can cause enough discomfort necessary for a removal. Worst case scenario, a complete hysterectomy is done, removing the entire uterus completely.
Traditional Chinese Medical texts have records of this disease dating as far back as the Third Century BC. According to Chinese Medicine, there are three patterns that identify with the development (cause) of Uterine Fibroids. 1] Qi Stagnation/Blood Stasis, 2.] Yin Deficiency with Empty Heat and 3.] Liver Qi Stagnation with Spleen Qi Deficiency. Each of these patterns have specific signs and symptoms that help direct an Acupuncturist to create treatments and herbal recommendations that are appropriate for each patient.
Case study related to Uterine Fibroids
I had a patient who was coming to me for ‘General Health Promoting’ treatments and upon palpating her abdomen, I discovered a hard, but moveable, mass just under her belly button. As I asked her more about her menstrual history, she reported to me that she had had a history of painful periods but that as of late, her periods have not caused her any issues. Based on all the information I acquired from her intake, I diagnosed this patient with the Qi Stagnation/Blood Stasis pattern and treated her accordingly. I also prescribed her a herbal formula that helps with breaking up blood stasis, moving stagnant blood and decreasing the size of masses. Within a week, my patient reported to me that she felt her fibroid had decreased in size. Currently, she is still coming in for treatments so that we can work towards further shrinking her fibroid.
If you are worried about Uterine Fibroids or have another health concern give us a call at Fort Collins Family Acupuncture for an appointment.
We look forward to helping you on the road to good health.