Fibroids

Fibroids are benign (noncancerous) muscular tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus. They are found in about 20% of women of reproductive age and one of the most common structural abnormalities of the uterus. 

Fibroids impact fertility in several ways:

  • By changing the shape or size of the uterus. 
  • By block the opening of the fallopian tube or cervix, thereby hindering the egg (fallopian tube) or the sperm (cervix) from entering or moving freely within the uterus.
  • They can block blood flow to the uterine cavity and affect lining and/or the embryo’s ability to implant.

Common signs of fibroids include:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Severe abdominal pain or cramping
  • Painful sex
  • Urge to urinate

An ultrasound can easily identify if you have fibroids and is a common diagnostic tool utilized when checking for reproductive issues. 

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

In Chinese Medicine, fibroids are commonly viewed as blood stagnation. And since fibroid growth is triggered by excess estrogen, we turn our focus to the Liver. The Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi and Blood within the body. By supporting this movement, we also reinforce the Liver’s natural detoxification process, which is extremely beneficial in the reduction of fibroids and fibroid related pain.

Acupuncture:

Weekly acupuncture is recommended to increase blood flow to the uterus and disperse stagnation and pain. 

Herbs: 

  • Many Chinese herbal formulas move blood and Qi to aid in decreasing fibroid size and related pain.
  • Several spices in Chinese Medicine are also herbs. These spices are pungent and help move Qi and therefore blood: Basil, Caraway, Cardamom, Chive, Fennel, Garlic and Turmeric are some herbs that can be found in most pantries that may be helpful for fibroids.

Diet: 

  • Consider an anti-inflammatory diet 
  • Avoid foods that have been treated hormonally
  • Try not to over eat or consume too much heavy food at one time. This burdens the system and congests Qi and blood.
  • Decrease consumption of dairy, sugar and wheat. In Chinese medicine, they contribute to Qi and blood stagnation due to increased dampness.

Lifestyle:

  • Limit exposure to external estrogens or chemicals that mimic estrogen: 
    • Parabens in personal hygiene products
    • Plastics
    • Perfluorinate in non-stick cookware
    • Triclosan in antibacterial soap
    • Nonylphenol in detergents
    • Herbicides. 
  • Castor Oil packs on the abdomen over the uterus
  • Look at possible emotional connections associated with fibroids, like stress or trauma. 

written by Andrea Iwi'ula in the Bellevue office

Research: https://www.reproductivefacts.org/news-and-publications/patient-fact-sheets-and-booklets/documents/fact-sheets-and-info-booklets/fibroids-and-fertility/