Endometriosis is a chronic condition characterised by growth of endometrial tissue in sites other than the uterus, most commonly in the pelvic cavity.

This ectopic tissue responds to the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle, with subsequent bleeding, inflammation, and pain. Although the condition may be asymptomatic, common symptoms include dysmenorrhoea, dyspareunia, non-cyclical pelvic and abdominal pain, and subfertility.

The prevalence is estimated to affect up to 22% of women and the incidence of endometriosis in women with dysmenorrhea (period pain) is 40-60%.

How acupuncture can help

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemicals. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress.

It has been shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically be of benefit in people with endometriosis by:

Relieving pain: By stimulating nerves, acupuncture leads to release of endorphins and other chemicals, changing the processing of pain in the brain and spinal cord

Reducing inflammation

Balancing prostaglandin levels.

For more information about how acupuncture works in controlled trials please visit
www.evidencebasedacupuncture.org or view the endometriosis fact sheet at www.acupuncture.org.uk.


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