Client: Amy (32y/o)
Problem: Amy came to us March 2019 because of her period pain. She was diagnosed with PCOS and endometriosis and had already undergone a laparoscopy in March 2018. After the surgery there was still period pain and at times she said it was even worse than before the surgery. She would take pain killers for relief but they did not work.
She also told us that she’d experienced period pain since her first cycle at 14 years old. The older she got the worse the pain felt.
Her goal was to reduce her pain and hopefully fall pregnant later in the year.
Symptoms: pain mainly day 1 and 2 of cycle， sore breasts， headaches， sore lower back， numbness/weakness in legs， emotionally sensitive around period
Our solution: Weekly acupuncture treatments with Chinese herbal medicine and start BBT charting
Results: Her BBT chart indicated that she was not ovulating which told Jane she needed to work on balancing hormones as well as pain. By third treatment （12 days later）no pain during day 1 of cycle and on day 2 just abdominal pain which was reduced by 50%. She did not experience any lower back soreness or numbness/weakness in her legs.
Conclusion: Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can help manage menstruation pain regardless of whether painkillers work or not. They also help with other PMS symptoms such as numbness and weakness in other parts of the body.
It’s also important to know that just because you have your period does not mean you ovulate. Jane Ma suggests it’s better to start BBT charting as soon as you begin planning to conceive so you can avoid false hope and address imbalanced hormones earlier in the process.
Client: Gwen (23y/o)
Problem: Gwen came to us February 2019 because her period pain had been getting worse for the last two years to the point she was experiencing lower abdominal pain every day. She was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease and endometriosis.
She had previously been on the pill for 6 years which she stopped taking in 2016. This is when the pain started. On her scale she said the pain was between 5 -8/10. In Dec 2017 she had laparoscopy surgery and an IUD put in at the same time. But her pain was back within 5 months and was persistent. She had a second laparoscopy in Nov 2018 but this time her pain was back in 2 months. In this time she also had a cone biopsy done.
Her goal was to reduce her pain which she described as between 7-10/10. She also wants to conceive at the end of the year.
Symptoms: daily lower abdominal pain of 7-10 out of ten，fatigue/tiredness, nausea/vomiting.
Our solution: Remove IUD and then receive weekly acupuncture treatments with Chinese herbal medicine
First acupuncture treatment: her pain was gone. Jane Ma suggested have IUD taken out to help balance her hormones to reduce future pain. That month she had the IUD taken out and four weeks after her first treatment she began weekly acupuncture treatments with Chinese herbal medicine.
2nd treatment: had IUD taken out and bled for 3 days. Her pain had been 3/10 over past month since 1st treatment.
3rd treatment: pain was on and off, much less than when IUD was there, sometime had no pain at all. Felt tired in the morning, sore legs.
4th treatment: Energy is better, just in the weekend felt flu-y then tired.
5th treatment: pain was still 3/10 leading up to her period. Pain during period but other symptoms stayed away and her energy was very good.
Conclusion: Acupuncture and TCM can treat menstruation pain effectively at any stage of the process including after trying treatments such as IUD and the pill.
Client: Gabriella (15 y/o)
Problem: Gabriella came to us March 2019 because she had severe period pain, ongoing for two years which was affecting her life. During her period she would have to leave school early or miss it entirely and stop her after-school activities. The pain had also caused her to develop anxiety and affected her sleep， making her very tired.
She’d been getting her periods for 3 years by this time, the first year she experienced discomfort but after that it started to get worse. The previous 3 months it had gotten to the point it was 8/10.
Her pain typically started the day before her period and lasted 4 days. She was taking magnesium supplements, painkillers and using a hot water bottle to try to reduce the pain but had little effect.
Her goal was to reduce her period pain and be able to maintain her normal everyday life during her periods.
Symptoms: severe period pain for 2 years, she also presents headaches, skin disorders (eczema), insomnia, dizziness, overly emotional or anger easily, PMS, often feel hot.
Our solution: BBT charting to monitor her hormones with weekly acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine treatments. Also recommended avoiding cold foods and drinks (see why in our article on endometriosis pain).
Results: After 3 weeks of treatments，her sleep was improved， her anxiety reduced and she felt more calm. Her period started at the end of March and she experienced no PMS symptoms， less stress， was able to sleep well and only experienced a bit of pain around day 2.
In an email her mother said of her first period since beginning treatment：“She said she’s feeling much better now. Pain only lasted two days and was pretty sporadic- major improvement.”
Conclusion: Acupuncture and TCM is very effective at releasing period pain in teenage girls. At this stage of the teenage girl’s life her reproductive system has not fully matured and is both vulnerable to good and bad changes. This is why it is best to avoid taking pills and other forms of regulating hormones as they can supress development. It is also why starting treatment for period pain in their teenage years as soon as possible is very important. Making positive lifestyle changes is also a good idea during this time.