Menstruation should be painless and accompanied by minimal pre and postmenstrual signs and symptoms. We know the menstruate should be of sufficient volume, a rich, fresh color, and free from clots. The absence of these factors is an endometriosis symptom . If there is free flow, there is no pain: if there is pain, there is no free flow.
In Chinese medicine , the uterus and the liver are closely related. The liver maintains patency or free flow of the qi or vital energy of the body. The liver, spleen and kidney channels run through the pelvis and all can effect menstruation . If any of these channels is blocked, congested or deficient, this will usually manifest in women as some sort of menstrual problem. Qi moves the blood. The qi can become sluggish or stuck due to emotional stuckness or stress. It is the liver’s job to maintain the free flow of qi , stagnant qi is associated with liver depression. The liver is so intimately associated with the menstrual cycle, liver depression and stagnant qi in women almost always manifests as some menstrual-related problem. Stagnant qi manifests as pain and distention and is dull, crampy or colicky.
Static blood may be caused by either long-term qi stagnation or by traumatic injury, including surgery. Its characteristic is localized, fixed, sharp, stabbing or lancinating pain. Blood clots are common when one’s qi is stagnant. The most common cause of qi stagnation is stress, and usually results in liver depression. This can also become the cause of female infertility. Stagnant qi causes pain, urinary problems, lower abdominal pain and distention, sciatica, premenstrual nipple sensitivity, irritability, depression and headaches. Static blood may be caused by trauma, such as intra-abdominal surgery, IUDs, abortions, and certain birth control pills in some women. It may also be caused by intercourse during menstruation or due to stagnant qi.
The signs and symptoms of blood stasis are stabbing, sharp, fixed, and lancinating pain, clots in the menstrual discharge, the relief of pain after passing of clots, prominent blue, varicose veins on the lower abdomen, possible hemorrhoids or varicose veins on the legs, poking pain with intercourse.
Most women with endometriosis have some combination of stagnant qi and blood stasis. Accumulation of cold-causing blood stasis also leads to uncomfortable side effects. Coldness and dampness can be generated by over eating cold, damp foods. Cold foods include anything eaten chilled, frozen and cold. They also include most raw vegetables and fruits, dairy products, oils, nuts, sugar, fatty foods, and citrus fruits.
The signs and symptoms of accumulation of cold causing blood stasis in the lower burner include cold, fixed pain in the lower abdomen relieved by warmth, a dark, clotty menstrual discharge, aversion to cold, late or absent period, back pain, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite.