Acupuncture and Fibroids – Can we help?

What you need to know

If you suffer from fibroids or another women’s health concern, reach out as we are specialists in helping many women’s health concerns. Give our office a call today at (425) 686-4498 to set-up your consultation.

Women's health guide

Acupuncture and Fibroids – Can we help?

Uterine fibroids aka leiomyomas are benign growths on the wall of the uterus. They represent the most common gynecological non-cancerous tumors in reproductive females.  It is estimated that 80% of women will have uterine fibroids at some point in their reproductive years.

Symptoms of fibroids:

Many are symptom free and unaware, but for some women, fibroids can cause heavy bleeding, irregular periods, abdominal bloating and back pain. Fibroids may also contribute to infertility. Fibroids can even grow large and press on vital organs like the bladder or bowel, eventually leading to digestive or kidney problems. The cause is not well understood, however.  The theory is that abnormal muscle cells in the uterus are affected by estrogen and other factors in a way that drives tumor growth.

What are Western Treatment Options?

Western treatment depends on severity. If asymptomatic, treatment is not needed, if the fibroid/s cause pain or other problems, treatment may involve surgery to remove the fibroids but unfortunately they can return. The rate of recurrence is high, at 30%.  Estrogen contributes to the growth of fibroids which makes hormone regulation a main focus of fibroid management. In some cases, a hysterectomy to remove the uterus, maybe indicated. However, it is the only known way to guarantee prevention of recurrence and is obviously not a desirable option for women looking to preserve fertility.

Can acupuncture help fibroids?

With fibroids, or any other concern, it is important to look at and determine any underlying causes. Chinese medicine takes a more holistic approach. Fibroids, in Chinese medicine, fall into the larger category of Zheng Jia (masses), as do other growths related to women’s health such as ovarian cysts, endometriosis and reproductive cancers.

The causes of these masses are understood to be any of, or any combination of, the following:

Liver Qi stagnation

The liver is the organ that regulates the movement of qi and stagnant liver qi can reveal itself as typical PMS symptoms: irritability, breast tenderness, and cramps. The liver is also the organ that helps to rid the body of excess estrogen, so it is definitely a worthy focus point from both an Eastern and Western perspective.

Blood Stasis

Blood follows qi, so long term qi stagnation can result in blood stasis which is considered when symptoms such as more intense cramping and clots are reported.


Improper diet and digestion is said to lead to a buildup of damp-phlegm in the body. This accumulation, when condensed by other factors (such as heat, cold or poor blood flow) is thought to set the stage for the growth of various masses in the body.  Associated symptoms can include indigestion, bloating, weight gain, and sometimes a watery menstrual flow.

Cold Accumulation

Exposure to the cold, especially cold that affects the uterus can be another cause of blood stasis which can eventually lead to tumors. Menstrual pain relieved by warmth is a sign of cold in the uterus.

Acupuncture can help eliminate or shrink smaller fibroids, as well as keep them from returning. Acupuncture redirects energy in the body to address patterns like blood stasis, cold, phlegm, and liver qi stagnation to help to restore a yin/yang (and consequently hormone) balance.

What do the studies say?

A recent study compared treatment with acupuncture and herbs to treatment with a combination of herbs and steroids. All of the women saw some benefits, but the ones who had acupuncture treatment saw an overall greater reduction in the volume of their fibroids. Previous studies have shown that acupuncture can help with many women’s health conditions from fertility, menopausal symptoms, and primary dysmenorrhea.

Another study looked at alternative medical approaches for uterine fibroids. Upon comparing alternative treatments, such as TCM, bodywork and guided imagery against conventional treatment, the researchers found that the patients thrived in the alternative medical group. Fibroids shrank or stopped growing in 59% of the alternative treatment group compared to only eight percent of those in the conventional treatment group.

If you suffer from fibroids or another women’s health concern, reach out as we are specialists in helping many women’s health concerns. Give our office a call today at (425) 686-4498 to set-up your consultation.


Call or Schedule Now! (425) 686-4498

Call or Schedule Now!

(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

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