Ovarian Cysts & Fibroids

Ovarian cysts and uterine Fibroids are common conditions that may affect a woman’s natural fertility and ability to conceive. Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop on the ovaries. Following ovulation, follicles turn into the corpus luteum, which then makes progesterone. Ovarian cysts will form with the monthly follicle or corpus luteum. Ovarian cysts are most often benign but there are rare cancerous cysts that can also develop. Ovarian cysts often do not cause symptoms however, they can present as pelvic pain, pelvic pressure, abdominal swelling, or bladder and bowel problems. Ovarian cysts may go away on their own, however, sometimes surgery may be required.

Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous solid tumors that develop within the smooth muscle of the uterus. Fibroids are most common in women in their 30s and 40s and usually decrease after menopause. Uterine fibroids are quite common and occur in about 70% of women. Despite their prevalence, approximately only 25% of women experience symptoms. Symptoms of fibroids include heavy uterine bleeding, pelvic pressure, constipation, frequent urination, painful periods, painful intercourse, infertility, and pregnancy complications. Most women with fibroids experience longer periods that last longer than 7 days, with heavy bleeding. Bleeding between periods with fibroids is not uncommon, although should be evaluated by a doctor. Gynecological surgery is a common biomedical treatment for fibroids. Fibroids are the most common reason for hysterectomies.

Cysts, Fibroids, and Fertility

Ovarian cysts and fibroids have been linked to issues with fertility. Fibroids can deform the uterine cavity and also affect implantation, leading to infertility. Cysts and fibroids also can increase the likelihood of miscarriage and increase pregnancy complications such as first trimester bleeding, breech baby, placental abruption, and problems during labor that may increase cesarian delivery.

Chinese Medicine for Ovarian Cysts and Uterine Fibroids

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can effectively reduce the size of ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids, while also helping to manage the symptoms. Acupuncture is a great option for women who would like to take a natural approach to treat gynecological problems. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine may offer an alternative to daily medications or painful surgery and can help address ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids by using the body’s own natural response to healing. Cysts and fibroids can sometimes be very painful, acupuncture can help to manage this pain. Acupuncture is known to effectively treat systemic pain by releasing endorphins, the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals. Acupuncture can also help to stimulate blood flow and circulation to the reproductive organs, helping to nourish the tissues of the uterus and ovaries and help to stimulate ovulation. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can help to correct endocrine imbalances and help to stabilize the hormones that may be contributing to ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids.

Nutrition is an important part of Chinese medicine and will likely be included as part of the holistic treatment plan. Dietary modifications are often suggested for uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts. Poor nutrition and dietary choices can sometimes contribute to hormonal imbalances as well as inflammation within the body. Chinese herbal prescriptions may also be prescribed to address any hormonal imbalances as well as the underlying cause of the fibroids and cysts.

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