29 January 2013
Research shows that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are successful in treating many forms of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is inflammation of the female pelvic organs and/or connective tissues and is often caused by an infection. A new study, however, shows that commercial health insurance plans have only a 38% screening rate for Chlamydia trachomatis, a major cause of PID. Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that can be asymptomatic and delays in treatment often lead to reproductive organ scarring, infertility and ectopic pregnancies.
Acute PID can be life threatening. It often presents with severe symptoms and may require hospitalization, surgery and antibiotics. Over 100,000 women become infertile due to PID in the USA every year. Approximately 750,000 women contract PID and 150 women die from PID in the USA annually. The new study published in the Journal of American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association notes that, “Overall Ct (Chlamydia trachomatis) screening rates in commercial health plans are quite low, with a median rate of 35%.” The researchers note that there have been efforts to increase screening rates but that these efforts “have not been successful.”
Chronic PID often presents with lower abdominal pain and leukorrhea, vaginal discharge. PID may be caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, pinworms and other microorganisms. Sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia are major causes of PID. Once the acute stage has been cleared, the role of the acupuncturist becomes very important. Western biomedicine often employs multiple exploratory procedures in an effort to control antibiotic resistant episodes of PID. However, a less invasive approach is to use herbs and acupuncture to clear fallopian tube blockages and lingering pathogenic microorganisms from the pelvic region.
In one study, researchers examined women with PID that did not respond to pharmaceutical medications. The women received 12 acupuncture treatments at a rate of three times per week. The researchers noted that acupuncture exhibited a significant anti-inflammatory effect measured by laboratory blood count results, “During the study, we obtained a significant drop in ESR and IgM levels together with a rise in γ-globulin concentrations.” The researchers also documented significant decreases in PID related pain following the acupuncture treatments.
The Healthcare Medicine Institute (HealthCMi) has published several acupuncture continuing education courses on the diagnosis and treatment of PID in Chinese medicine. Included are specific herbal and acupuncture protocols to clear the disease from the system. HealthCMi also hosts live webinars on the topic. Take a look at this video, pictured below, to learn more about the live webinar contents.
Woźniak, Piotr R., Grzegorz P. Stachowiak, Agnieszka K. Pięta-Dolińska, and Przemysław J. Oszukowski. "Anti-phlogistic and immunocompetent effects of acupuncture treatment in women suffering from chronic pelvic inflammatory diseases." The American journal of Chinese medicine 31, no. 02 (2003): 315-320.
Atherly, Adam, and Sarah C. Blake. "Efforts by Commercial Health Plans to Increase Chlamydia trachomatis Screening Among Their Members." Sexually Transmitted Diseases 40, no. 1 (2013): 55-60.