Keep Your Womb Warm
Keep your womb warm ladies!
A warm uterus is essential for fertility, healthy menstruation & pregnancy.
In Chinese medicine, a “cold” uterus, or poor blood flow & circulation to the uterus could be the reason you can’t get pregnant, have period pains or suffer from conditions like endometriosis, adenomyosis and fibroids. Incredibly, around 50% of infertility is the result of having a cold womb!
“Cold uterus” is a Kidney Yang deficiency. Symptoms include dark purple or black menstrual blood, clots, cold limbs, lower back pain, low libido, painful menstruation, low basal body temperature, frequent urination and water retention.
The first half of a menstrual cycle is the feminine ‘yin’ phase, this includes the follicular phase where oestrogen dominates. The second half of the cycle is known as the masculine ‘yang’ phase, it includes the luteal phase when progesterone dominates and the basal body temperature (BBT) of a woman rises. Yang is the warm, fiery energy which drives blood flow and works as a catalyst for ovulation and implantation. The rise of progesterone and body temperature allows the best condition for implantation of a fertilised embryo.
In terms of TCM, cold causes sluggishness & stagnation whilst warmth promotes circulation. Just as there is abundant growth in the warm spring and summer weather and withering and hibernation in the cold autumn and winter.
Kidney Yang deficiency combined with Blood stagnation is an even more common disharmony. For an embryo to embed and thrive, the endometrium (the lining of the uterus), needs a great blood supply from all the capillaries that feed into it. A ‘Warm Womb’ is one in which there is great blood flow, in a ‘Cold Womb’, capillaries are constricting by the cold and not generating enough warmth and nutrient rich blood supply to support life.
How to keep your womb warm:
- Wear socks or slippers. Keeping your feet warm is very important. The temperature of our feet reflects the temperature of our womb. Make sure you wear slippers or socks on tiled or wooden floors, even in summer.
- Take warm baths and foot baths.
- Place a hot water bottle on your abdomen.
- Drink warming ginger or cinnamon tea.
- Avoid cold, raw foods and drinking cold beverages. Keep salad or raw vegetables as side dishes only.
- Eat veggie laden soups, bone broths, stews, curries, and stir-fry meals as the main course and keep salad on the side.
- Don’t swim whilst menstruating. At this time of the month the cervix is open, and you are allowing cold to enter directly into the uterus.
- Use heat packs. If you are doing a 3-month program to improve your fertility (and therefore not actively trying to conceive) you can use these therapies all month long. If you are currently trying, use a heat pack on the lower abdomen for 20 minutes 2 times per day from menstruation to ovulation only.
- Use moxibustion – a therapy of dried mugwort, heated and used to stimulate acupuncture points. Mugwort has been used for centuries both topically and internally for fertility and menstrual disorders, and used in moxibustion therapy to expel cold and stimulate proper flow of Qi and Blood. Use moxa the same way you would use a heat pack. 10-20 minutes 1-2 times per day from menstruation to ovulation, or all cycle long if you are prepping to conceive.
- Dress warmly, especially when in air conditioning. Pay special attention to keeping your legs, abdomen and lower back warm. Wear a haramaki abdominal wrap.
- Avoid sitting on cold floors.
- Have an abdominal massage. I offer womb massage with heated crystals to bring healing qi, blood flow and warmth to the uterus. I also massage the kidneys with heated crystals to bring heat and energy to your whole system. I teach you in the treatment how to do daily self-care massage at home.
- Have regular acupuncture sessions.
- Do vaginal steams and castor oil packs, I teach these techniques as an after-care practice when you have a womb massage or activation session with me.
- Exercise at least 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes to improve blood circulation in our bodies.
- Abstain during your period, as at this time of the month, the cervix is opened and the womb is vulnerable to ‘cold’ invasion.