Medical Acupuncture treatment for Dysmenorrhea & Endometriosis

dysmenorrheaWomen bleed for approximately 37 years, 60 days a year which is almost 6 years of a woman’s life. It’s a far more pleasant experience if this time can be spent comfortably.

Dysmenorrhea is experienced not only as painful periods, but also abdominal cramps, sometimes nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, headaches and vertigo as well as mood changes.

Dysmenorrhea due to endometriosis can be very unpleasant and also result in non-cyclic pelvic pain and dyspareunia (painful intercourse).

Conventional treatment usually involves anti-inflammatory medication and or contraceptives, but for 10-20% of women these are not effective. Some cannot or prefer not to take these drugs.

Medical Acupuncture has be shown to:

  • Improve pain and quality of life when combined with usual medical care, significantly more so compared to those who received usual medical care only for dysmenorrhea.1
  • Reduce pain and improve headache, nausea and fatigue symptoms in adolescent girls suffering from endometriosis-related pelvic pain.2
  • Relieve pain effectively in the treatment of primary dysmenorrhea and offers advantages in increasing the overall effectiveness of medical treatment including anti-inflammatory medication.3

My clinical approach is to use Medical Acupuncture’s pre-emptive effects, given before the period with the intention of easing pain and other symptoms during. We then recommend the use of high frequency TENS4 treatment applied at home during menstruation.

Dysmenorrhea due to endometriosis may take longer to treat and usually requires a multidisciplinary approach which may include medication, CBT, progressive muscle relaxation, medical acupuncture and TENS.

If you need help and would like to explore a medical acupuncture based course of treatment, and for further information, please call the clinic on 01-2834303.

References
1. Witt CM, Reinhold T, Brinkhaus B, Roll S, Jena S, Willich SN. Acupuncture in patients with dysmenorrhea: a randomized study on clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness in usual care. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2008 Feb 1;198(2):166-e1.
2. Highfield ES, Laufer MR, Schnyer RN, Kerr CE, Thomas P, Wayne PM. Adolescent endometriosis-related pelvic pain treated with acupuncture: two case reports. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine. 2006 Apr 1;12(3):317-22.
3. Xu Y, Zhao W, Li T, Bu H, Zhao Z, Zhao Y, Song S. Effects of acupoint-stimulation for the treatment of primary dysmenorrhoea compared with NSAIDs: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 19 RCTs. BMC complementary and alternative medicine. 2017 Dec;17(1):436.
4. Milsom I, Hedner N, Mannheimer C. A comparative study of the effect of high-intensity transcutaneous nerve stimulation and oral naproxen on intrauterine pressure and menstrual pain in patients with primary dysmenorrhea. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. 1994 Jan 1;170(1):123-9.

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