Myomas or uterine fibroid tumors are non-cancerous (benign) tumors that develop in or around the uterus. In the United States, these conditions impact roughly 20% of women 35 years of age and over. The doctor may diagnose the condition during a woman’s yearly gynecological exam when the doctor can palpate a mass in the woman’s breast. A sonohysterogram, CAT scan, MRI or an ultrasound is performed when a fibroid is detected. Around a quarter of women who manifest symptoms may experience frequent urination, fertility problems, pain during sex and/or menstruation, heavy and/or abnormal menses, a swollen stomach (especially if the fibroids increase in size), and complications during pregnancy and delivery. From the standpoint of assisted-reproductive treatment, the implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus can be affected by fibroids. Western medicine still has no answer as to what causes uterine fibroid tumors although evidence suggests that it may have to do with the levels of progesterone and estrogen levels in the body. During pregnancy, the tumors can rapidly develop as the levels of hormone tend to rise during this time. Doctors use anti-hormone therapy to shrink these tumors. Also, when a woman reaches menopause, these tumors can shrink or stop growing.
According to TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine, fibroids are the result of blood flow blockages; hence to resolve it, these blockages should be removed. Acupuncture needles inserted along the fibroid are used to decrease the number of abnormal cells that cause the fibroid. To bring back the normal circulation of blood to the pelvic region, Chinese herbs are used. Massage to the reproductive organs can also be performed to break down affected tissue and to help with recovery. The fibroids are can be shrunk and eliminated with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. These two treatments also can help lower FSH levels, normalize menstruation, improve ovulation and ovarian production, restore balance to the production of hormones, improve egg quality, and strengthen embryos– all of which increases fertility and the chance of conception.
Focusing on balancing the ovarian/pituitary/hypothalamus axis, acupuncture is performed to help regulate the progesterone and estrogen levels in the body. The rise of estrogen levels results in the increase of the size of the fibroids, affecting implantation during IVF therapy and causing pain. Acupuncture helps lower the excess estrodial and slows down the development of abnormal cells and when utilized along with reproductive organ massage herbal medicine, can completely stop the development of the fibroids.
To invigorate the blood Chinese herbs are used. The herbs aid in clearing out the blood stagnation of the fibroid itself providing the much-needed nutrients and oxygen needed to heal the body. The enhanced circulation of blood to the affected regions of the body has been seen to produce an antineoplastic effect that helps in controlling the proliferation of abnormal cells. Chinese herbal remedies can also directly impact the smooth muscles in the uterus helping cause uterine contractions in order to dissolve the cause of the stagnation.
A specialized type of massage therapy, reproductive organ massage, manipulates the pelvic cavity fascia to address any adhesions and clear out any blockages in the reproductive organs to boost the circulation of the blood to these organs. Any muscular tightness that can lead to the rise of holding patterns related to the fibroids is resolved by this type of massage therapy. Arterial and venous circulation to the uterus is improved after the tension in the muscles is relaxed resulting in improved reproductive organ function and restoring balance to the hormones. Moreover, massage to the reproductive organs tend to stimulate the lymph circulation helping wash away any toxins related to the dissolution of the fibroid mass.
Treating Uterine Fibroid Tumors the Western Medicine Way
Treatment may not be required for patients with fibroids who do not manifest any symptoms whatsoever. During a routine examination, the physician may see if the fibroid in the patient has grown. For patients who manifest fibroid symptoms, Western modes of treatment may mean the use of surgery or hormonal suppression therapy. Several drugs can be prescribed to relieve pain, shrink or stop the development of the fibroids, and to control any heavy bleeding. For people experiencing moderate to severe symptoms, surgical procedures such as hysterectomy, myomectomy, or embolization of the uterine arteries may be used. Other conventional therapies for uterine fibroids include anti-hormonal medications, laser treatments, and MRI guided ultrasound surgery.