Irregular menstruation, dysmenorrhea
This case is published by British Medical Journal Case Report. ‘Acupuncture treatment for dysfunctional uterine bleeding in an adolescent’. There are more treatment details in the publication. Please feel free to read, download and distribute.
The patient is a 16 year old girl who has never had regular menstruation ever since the beginning of her period at age 12. For more than 2 years she has had 3 periods per month, which were heavy and painful each time. The longest time in between period was about 3 days. She is ‘constantly’ on. Her cramps are severe and she often had to miss school because of her cramps. She does not sleep well because of the pain. She was seen by gynecologist and has tried different modalities to control her period. She has had devices, injections and birth control pills. At the time of presentation, she was on her birth control pill in the middle of the pill pack and she’s also on her period. She reports she never skips her pills.
She was offered to get acupuncture treatment to have 3 times weekly treatment and continue her birth control pills and her gynecological appointment. In the first month of the treatment, she had 1 breakthrough bleeding of 6 days, she later had a regular period at the end of the month. She continued her birth control pills daily. The following period was 30 days after the previous period which was not in sync with her pills. Her birth control pill was then discontinued for lack of effectiveness.
She continued her treatment 2 times per week, 38 days after the last period without taking any medication, she had another period with normal volume and duration. She does not have dysmenorrhea anymore. She missed her gynecologist follow up appointments a couple of times since the beginning of acupuncture treatment. After 2 ½ months acupuncture treatment, she went back to her gynecologist for follow up and indicated her birth control pill was discontinued, her gynecologist agreed and scheduled follow up appointment in 6 months if needed. She is not stressed anymore with normal sleep. Her energy is good and starts working 70 hours per week during summer time and still in good mood. Her periods have continued to be regular 1 year after the completion of her treatments.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been used for menstruation, infertility with many successful cases and studies documented. This case illustrates the importance and benefit of adjunct therapy using acupuncture to treat menstruation issues especially for child bearing age females. For patients in this age group, after ruling out any organic causes and especially when conventional therapy is not effective, it should be worthwhile for a trial of TCM therapy which has no side effect when properly performed. The goal is to establish normal menstruation and maintain fertility.