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Acupuncture For Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be an exciting and joyful time for many individuals, however physical discomfort and complications can cause additional stress and worry for those who are experiencing pregnancy. It is not uncommon for some pregnant individuals to feel discomfort or pain in their pelvic region whilst they are pregnant. Up to 90% of pregnant women will experience back and pelvic pain at some point during the course of their pregnancy, and one third of these women will describe the pain as disabling or severe. 

It can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal changes, increased pressure on the pelvic area, and changes in posture. Pelvic pain can be mild or severe and can interfere with daily activities and quality of life. Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, including pelvic pain in pregnancy. Keep reading to find out how acupuncture can help with pain during pregnancy. 

What Causes Pelvic Pain In Early Pregnancy In Chinese Medicine

According to Chinese medicine, various factors can lead to pelvic pain during pregnancy.Most women have relatively weak pelvic floor muscles and pregnancy can place a strain on these muscles that may result in pain or discomfort. While growing a small human is exciting and an impressive feat of the human body, the process can be taxing on your body.

Some pain and discomfort during this time is very normal. Pelvic girdle pain during the first trimester of pregnancy can often be correlated with the expansion of the uterine wall. As a baby grows, the uterus must expand to accommodate the baby’s new size. This expansion of the uterus can cause some cramping and discomfort in the pelvic region. This section of the article will explore a few different causes of pelvic pain during pregnancy according to Chinese Medicine.

During early pregnancy, pelvic pain may be due to Qi and Blood deficiency, which can result from significant changes in the body to support the developing fetus. 


• Blood deficiency/ stagnation: Insufficient blood can result in a deficiency of nourishment to the muscles and tissues in the pelvic region, causing pain. Blood stagnation can occur when the pelvic area’s blood flow is blocked, resulting in pain, inflammation, hormonal imbalances, or trauma. 

• Qi deficiency or stagnation: This can cause a blockage or weakness in the body’s vital energy, leading to tension and discomfort in the pelvic area.

• Cold and Accumulated dampness: Cold and damp environmental factors are also considered pathogenic factors that can disrupt the flow of Qi and cause pain. Coldness can constrict blood vessels and reduce circulation, resulting in stiffness and pain in the pelvic region. Additionally, dampness is a heavy and stagnant energy that can accumulate in the body, leading to swelling and discomfort in the pelvic area.

• Stress and Anxiety: Disruptions in the flow of Qi can also occur due to emotional factors such as stress, anxiety, or frustration, resulting in Qi stagnation and discomfort in the pelvic area.


Some pain and discomfort can also be associated with the fluctuating hormone levels that come with pregnancy. Higher levels of progesterone can also lead to gas and stomach discomfort. This discomfort tends to be most severe within the first stages of pregnancy and can cause some pelvic pain throughout the first trimester.

Other muscles such as your round ligaments that hold your uterus in place can also stretch and cause pelvic pain most frequently during your second trimester. This pain is normal and to be expected as the uterus is shifting and expanding in order to hold a growing baby. Traditional Chinese medicine such as acupuncture can help to manage the discomfort that stems from round ligament pain.

Acupuncture For Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy?

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting small needles across various pressure points and parts of the body to increase circulation and minimize the pain that is often associated with muscle tension or cramping.

Acupuncture has been shown to reduce cramping and inflammation within the body by increasing vital blood flow which can also help minimise pelvic girdle pain often associated with the early stages of pregnancy. 

A meta analysis published in the journal BMJ Open concluded that Acupuncture significantly improved pain, functional status, and quality of life in women with lower back and pelvic pain during the pregnancy. Additionally, acupuncture had no observable severe adverse influences on the newborns. 

 Acupuncture can also help with pelvic pain in the third trimester as it can reduce cramping and inflammation of the pelvic and uterine regions. Studies have shown Acupuncture as an effective option for pain relief in lower back pain, pelvic pain, or both during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.


How Does Acupuncture Work To Reduce Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy?

In Chinese Medicine, pain is a result of blocked or disrupted Qi. Acupuncture aims to restore the flow of Qi.  It stimulate the nervous system, which triggers the release of natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body, such as endorphins and enkephalins. This can help reduce pain and promote relaxation.

Acupuncture can also help reduce inflammation in the body, which can be a contributing factor to pain. It may also help improve blood flow and oxygenation to the affected area, which can promote healing.

Acupuncture alleviates pelvic pain and enhance relaxation during pregnancy. Apart from this, acupuncture can also help manage other pregnancy-related symptoms. The advantages of acupuncture during pregnancy include decreased pain and discomfort, improved mood, better emotional well-being, better sleep, and relaxation. Additionally, acupuncture during pregnancy can also lead to improved pregnancy outcomes.


Moxibustion For Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy

It is recommended to accompany Acupuncture with Moxibustion. As coldness can constrict blood vessels and reduce circulation, resulting in stiffness and pain in the pelvic region and is one of the causes of pelvic pain. It is important to keep warm. 

Moxibustion is a TCM therapy  which igniting the heat of moxa to stimulate the acupuncture points. It stimulates the blood circulation through the warm, promotes the inflammation to subside, and has the effect of bidirectional regulation on the body function state. The heat generated by the burning moxa is believed to stimulate circulation and promote the flow of Qi (vital energy) throughout the body, which can help alleviate pain and promote healing. 

Other Lifestyle Changes and Advice 

Pelvic pain during pregnancy can be challenging to manage, but making some lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, and receiving advice from healthcare professionals can alleviate the discomfort. Here are some tips to help alleviate pelvic pain during pregnancy:


• Keep hydrated: Cramping can often result from a lack of water or hydration. Make sure to be drinking plenty of water throughout the early stages of your pregnancy in order to minimize the chance of uncomfortable pelvic pain.

• Exercise: Gentle activities like walking, yoga, and swimming can help stretch and strengthen the pelvic muscles and also help to reduce some of the pelvic pain that is often associated with the early stages of pregnancy. Make sure to check with your doctor in order to determine what exercises are recommended during your specific stage of pregnancy.

• Proper Nutrition: Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help prevent inflammation and improve overall health. Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods like leafy greens, berries, and fatty fish can help reduce pelvic pain.

• Posture: Maintaining good posture can help reduce the pressure on the pelvis. Sitting on a cushion or using a pregnancy pillow can help support the lower back and reduce pelvic pain.


If you are pregnant and dealing with pelvic pain, make sure to consult with your doctor before seeking treatment. While cramping and pelvic discomfort are common side effects of pregnancy, it is very important to check with trained professionals in order to determine the best way to manage this pain. Being able to tell the difference between typical pelvic pain and more serious pelvic pain is critical when working towards maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

Looking for acupuncturist for recovery after C-section in London? Our partners, GinSen’s acupuncture clinics in London have been pioneers in acupuncture since 2002. As one of the leading acupuncture clinics in London. Their Acupuncturist are fully qualified with extensive experience and members of the UK Regulatory Bodies: ATCM and BAcC

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our consultation page where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.

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