Endometriosis is a common condition where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb (endometrium) is found in other parts of the body. It is an increasingly seen condition in the west and is typically diagnosed by laparascopy or inferred from a symptom pattern by a gynaecologist.

It can appear in many different places, including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, inside the tummy, and in or around the bladder or bowel.

Symptoms of endometriosis

The symptoms of endometriosis can vary. Some women are badly affected, while others might not have any noticeable symptoms.

Symptoms can include:

  • period pain that it isn’t relieved with painkillers
  • heavy periods – for example, you may need to use lots of tampons or pads (or use them together), or the blood might soak through your clothes
  • pelvic pain – this may just occur around the time of your period or you may have it all the time
  • pain during and after sex

Endometriosis is one of the main causes of infertility although the reason for this is uncertain.

Chinese medicine views endometriosis largely as stagnation of blood in the uterus. The blood and endometrium which should be shed cleanly with each period is not done so properly. This leads to the congealing and clotting of the blood in the uterus. As the natural flow is further hindered by this clotting, the endometrial tissue finds its way into areas it shouldn’t causing the problem. For successful and long term treatment, it may be necessary to track the problem back further to find out the cause of this blood stagnation. Your acupuncturist will ask detailed questions about your menstrual cycle and period. From there, they will determine a treatment plan. Ideally the period should be bright in colour, not clotted and not painful.

The British acupuncture council provides a fact sheet on endometriosis including research. For further information, please click here

It has recently been reported in Journal of Pain that acupuncture may be useful in the relief of endometriosis pain.


Endometriosis can take many forms but is often characterised by painful periods with dark menstrual blood and clotting. There may be palpable nodules or masses in the abdomen. Sometimes there is no bothersome symptoms such as pain but a key diagnostic can often be spotting before periods. It can also be indicated by certain patterns in the change of Basal Body Temperature.

Endometriosis is one of the main causes of infertility although the reason for this is uncertain.

At our clinic we have many patients referred to us from their GP or gynaecologist as we look to support patients with their endometriosis. As an integrated clinic, for patients with  suspected endometriosis we will often look to refer to gynaecological specialists.

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