Clients often present to our clinic with issues related to sexual and reproductive health. This can be when they are trying to conceive or even when health issues arise not related to fertility. There are several concerns that surround urogenital health such as painful periods, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, frequent urinary tract infections (UTI’s), libido related issues, impotence, menopause and STD’s.
Periods don’t have to be painful. It is a common belief that suffering from period pain is par for the course, it doesn’t have to be. From an alternative medicine perspective period pain can be a result of stagnation, inflammation and cold in the uterus.
Cold in the uterus can occur when light shoes or short skirts are worn during the period. The Chinese even say that eating raw or cold foods or swimming at that time of the month can also lead to coldness in the womb.
Many conditions such as uterine fibroids, PCOS and endometriosis can also be factors. Clearing these stagnations, warming the uterus and moving the blood can relieve pain, regulate cycles and enhance fertility.
Periods can also be terribly heavy or even very light for some. Both these conditions are a result of underlying pathology, both can lead to fertility issues. Whilst most women are not too perturbed by light periods, heavy bleeds can be very draining and cause a lot of discomfort and sometimes embarrassment.
Frequent urinary tract infections (UTI’s) can occur in both male and female clients. However, they are more common in women due to the urethra being shorter in females. Bacteria makes its way into the urethra and can lead to pain, burning, frequent urination, and if affecting the kidneys can lead to blood and protein in the urine.
Upon questioning, many suffers are found to be wearers of G-strings. If you suffer from frequent UTI’s, throwing away the G bangers can greatly reduce their frequency. Chronic antibiotic use can also have a negative effect on the good microflora of the gut along with the vaginal flora. This often perpetuates the vicious cycle.
Having either a high or low libido can cause relationship issues and may be a sign of underlying fertility or health issues. Using intercourse as a way of relieving stress can also be problematic. Stress can clog the liver energy and lead to stagnation in the genitals. This can have a negative impact on sperm quality in the male partner. Low libido can be a sign of kidney deficiency among other things.
Suffers can find issues surrounding impotence very frustrating and even embarrassing. There can be lots of factors leading to impotence, mainly those that effect the kidney essence or even the liver (from a Chinese perspective) as a result of overwork, stress or anxiety.
There are two types of PCOS, one is the actual syndrome. Suffers can present with long cycles, sub-fertility, acne, excess weight gain and hair growth. This is more related to the syndrome where the woman also has excessive androgens.
The other type of PCOS is pill induced. The client will often not suffer from excess weight gain or hair growth. But can still suffer long or irregular cycles, sub-fertility and acne. This results from extend contraceptive pill use in which the ovaries become lazy due to suppression by the pill. The ovaries can become less pliable and the eggs can not mature effectively nor be released affectively.
Endometriosis is a condition where uterine tissue grows abnormally outside of the uterus. This can lead to inflammation, pain and subfertility. From a Chinese perspective this can be due to blood and qi stagnation. Moving this blood and qi stagnation can see a reduction in symptoms and enhance fertility. Appropriate diet can also play a big role in reducing the resulting inflammation. The Chinese also advise avoiding intercourse when you are bleeding. This is said to cause reckless bleeding.
When we are younger and first learn about periods, we are comforted by the fact that periods won’t last forever. However, menopause can lead to a whole new set of issues. You trade in your pads and periods for hot flushes and a whole gamete of other symptoms. It hardly seems fair does it. As we age our tian gui (celestial water) dries up and the periods become less frequent or stop. As the fluids become dry, we can experience a lot of heat. This can lead to mood changes, lowered libido, uncomfortable intercourse and even excess weight gain.
Many STD’s can be treated by Western Medical diagnosis and treatment. However, some infections can last a lifetime. Pelvic inflammatory disease as a result of chlamydia can cause lifelong issues as the infection leaves scarring and can reduce a person’s fertility potential.
Genital herpes can also cause a great deal of pain and discomfort also. When this condition flares up the Chinese describe it as a pouring down of damp heat into the lower jiao. Alternative medicine can be implemented to clear this damp heat to reduce severity and duration of attack and by building the immune system can fend off subsequent flair ups.
If you are suffering from any of these health concerns, our complementary medicine team at Samsara has a strong passion and understanding of such conditions. For more information on practitioners and modalities please check out our team page. Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture or Naturopathy both look at the internal imblances that can be causing or contriubting to these underlying problems. Britt has a special interest in Women's reproductive health and has had a lot of success, especially with PCOS. Sarah our Naturopath is very experienced with assist women with Endo.
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