Sunday, 29 March 2015

Prevention of Uterine Cold

A few years ago, a patient came to me, she told me she was not able to get pregnant for a few years, everything was fine after the checkups under the western medicine system. She told me that it could get very painful when dysmenorrhoea occurs. Her legs, hands and stomach area always felt cold. She was worried about not getting pregnant. She got depressed about that, but still nothing happened.

I took a closer look at her; she was wearing as singlet, short pants and slippers. Her face looked pale; the coating of her tongue was grimy and white. When I was examining her pulse, I felt the pulse was deep and slow. I touched her abdomen, it was very cold, and she said it felt warm and comfortable when my hands were on her abdomen.

From Traditional Chinese Medicine’s view, her symptoms were diagnosed as uterine cold, deficiency in Yang energy.  I applied treatments to warm up her uterus, clear the cold, replenish the energy for her, I also told her to make sure to keep her abdomen and feet warm, and eat warm food, avoid cold drinks and swimming during the menstrual period. A few months later she got pregnant.

I always think: as the combination of eggs and sperm gives rise to the next generation, the right temperature in the uterus needs to be ensured. It is just like chicken eggs and duck eggs. Little chickens and ducks will come out of the egg only some days after if they have been kept at the right temperature. The eggs would not become a chicken if the temperature is too cold, also the eggs would be cooked if temperature is too hot. Similarly, if temperature in the uterus is cold, the combination of eggs and sperm would not result in a foetus. Also, if the eggs or sperm itself is cold, it is hard for them to combine.

1. Why would the uterus be cold?

A. External cold factor.

There are many young girls who don’t care about the cold affecting their bodies. This affects puberty, menstrual period, and sometimes would cause difficulties for pregnancy. For example:

1. Sitting on a cold floor too often (especially wet floor)
The coldness comes through the bottom to the abdomen. It is easier for the abdomen to get affected by the coldness during menstrual period or when one is tired.

Not paying enough attention to keep warm in the stomach and back area
Some young ladies often wear clothes that do not cover the navel and the waist at the back, they wear sandals and shorts no matter what the weather is like.  Wind, cold and dampness could attack the body from the navel, go through the waist and back to the uterus. The cold could go through the feet to the legs and finally reach the abdomen. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the channels which are located on the inside of the feet and legs will eventually lead to the abdominal area. Thus, lack of awareness to keep warm in the stomach, back and feet would cause cold in the uterus, sometimes resulting in difficulties in pregnancy.

Swimming during the menstrual period
The body becomes sensitive, the endocrine system changes and the cervix opens during the menstrual period. The body is easily getting cold during this time. When people are swimming at this time, the cold would go into the uterus directly or indirectly. Thus, swimming is not a proper activity to participate in during the menstrual period.

Cold from the rain
Wearing wet clothes after the rain is another possible cause for the uterine cold.

B. Internal cold factor.
Too much cold drink
This is not only bad for the stomach energy, it also causes uterine cold. So does ice-cream and frozen food from the fridge. The accumulation of the cold in uterus will result in dysmenorrhoea, irregular menstrual period and it could lead to difficulties in pregnancy.

Deficiency in Yang energy causes cold.
Coldness damages the Yang energy. Cold is Yin, heat is Yang. The cold Yin energy is constrained by Yang energy. When the cold has accumulated too much the Yang energy is not able to constrain it, the cold will damage the Yang energy. Thus, deficient Yang energy would lead to internal cold in the body. When the internal cold accumulates in the uterus, sometimes pregnancy will be difficult to occur.

C. Internal cold and external cold
Although there are differences between internal cold and external cold, they interact and affect each other. Deficient Yang energy indicates an internal cold in the body. When this happens, the body could be affected by external cold easily. When the external cold attacks the body and further damages the Yang energy the result is internal cold. Both factors would cause difficulties in pregnancy due to cold uterus.

2. How to prevent uterine cold:
Do not sit too much or too often on cold and wet floors or chairs.
Keep warm in the feet, stomach and back area. Wear clothes that cover the navel and back. Wear socks or stockings and shoes in cold weather.
Do not swim during the menstrual period.
Change clothes after getting wet in the rain as soon as possible.
Dry your hair after showering before you are going out.
Try not to drink cold drinks, cold water or eat frozen food, especially during menstrual period. (Do not drink cold drinks on an empty stomach.)
Take proper treatment if you have a deficient Yang energy type of body with internal cold. (Symptoms of this type of body: likes warm and dislikes cold, cold feet and hands, aching in the knees because of cold, deficient energy, depressed, pale face)

3. How to treat uterine cold

A. Self – treatment:
The ways mentioned above to prevent uterine cold;
Eat warm food and food that are hot/warm.
Soak your feet in hot water every day for 10 – 20 minutes. Keep the feet warm after the feet are dry.

Hot bag method: Put a hot bag on the abdomen and another one at the back area to warm up the area every day or every second day.

Put a few pieces of ginger and brown sugar in tea, boil it for a few minutes and drink it every day.

Moxibustion. Put ginger on the navel for ten minutes.

Physical exercise. Tai Chi and Qi Gong are one of the good ways.

Self – massage at the two acupuncture points called “Sanyinjiao” Location: 3 cun ( around 3 inches) above the tip of the medial alveolus, on the posterior border of the medial side of the tibia.

B. Other treatments:
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Qi Gong exercise
Tai Chi exercise
Prevention and wisdom are the two principles of Traditional Qi.

Written by: Angela Zhu (TCM Practitioner, Qi Gong & Tai Chi Instructor) Translated by: Alan Huang