Treatment of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease with Chinese Medicine

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By Professor Guo Zhi Qiang

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a term used to describe any infection of the lower female reproductive tract that spreads to the upper female reproductive tract. The lower female genital tract consists of the vagina and the cervix while the upper female genital tract consists of the body of the uterus, the fallopian tubes and the ovaries.

PID includes endometritis, salpingitis, oophoritis, pelvic peritonitis and inflammation of the pelvic connective tissues. Many different organisms can cause PID, but most cases are associated with gonorrhea and genital chlamydial infections. The infective organisms travel to the fallopian tubes, where they cause sloughing of some cells and invade others. The infection then spreads to other organs, resulting in inflammation and scarring. Thus, it is a disorder affecting many organs and the condition can be differentiated as mild or serious.

Causes and Symptoms

PID is the most common and serious complication of sexually transmitted diseases among women. It is by far the major cause of infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Clinically, PID can be differentiated as acute or chronic. In accordance with Chinese medicine: “The pre-requisite for pathogenic attack is that the zheng qi is already deficient”. Thus, it can be said that the external factors such as infectious attack of gonorrhoea and Chlamydia trachomatis is the result of internal deficiency. Although sexual transmission is the most common cause of PID, bacteria may enter the body after gynaecological events or procedures such as IUD insertion, childbirth, spontaneous abortion, miscarriage and endometrial biopsy.

The main symptoms of PID include pelvic pain, pain in the sacrum, vaginal discharge, bleeding between menstrual cycles, painful intercourse, infertility and period pain. All of which can be equated to the Chinese medicine disorders of heat entering the blood chamber (Re Ru Xue Shi), abdominal pain, fever during menstruation, leukorrhea, excessive bleeding and spotting (beng lou), uterine fibroid and infertility.

Examination: Pelvic examination may reveal tenderness or pain in the region or tenderness on movement of the cervix, enlarged uterus, hyperplasia of the fallopian tubes, enlargement of the ovaries, hyperplasia of uterine ligaments, etc..

Diagnostic Examination: Ultrasound, laparoscopy, or hysterosalpingography.

Treatment of Menopausal Syndrome with Chinese Medicine By Professor Guo Zhi Qiang. Pearls Seminar 2004

Menopausal syndrome usually occurs in women between the ages of 45-52. Menopause indicates the permanent cessation of menstruation and a decline ovarian oestrogen and progesterone. During the peri-menopause, a small percentage of women experience symptoms such as menstrual irregularities, hot flushes, sweating, mood swings, insomnia, and joint pain. These symptoms collectively constitute wat is referred to as “menopausal syndrome”.

Chinese Medicine Pathophysiology

According to the Huang Di Nei Jing’s description of the stages of a woman’s life, at the age of 49, the Ren and Chong channels are completely empty, and the Tian Guihas dried up. Hence, the flow of menses ceases and the woman is no longer able to conceive. Visceral dysfunction and imbalance of yin and yang constitute the main pathology of menopausal syndrome.

Chinese Medicine Pattern Differentiation

Clinically, there are many different patterns associated with this disorder. Pattern differentiation and corresponding treatment principles are as follows:

  • Kidney yin deficiency: Nourish kidney yin (Zuo Gui Wan modified)

  • Kidney yang deficiency: Tonify the kidney and support the yang (You Gui Wan modified)

  • Yin and yang deficiency: Nourish yin and support the yang (Er Xian Tang modified)

  • Liver and kidney yin deficiency: Nourish the kidney and liver yin (Zuo Gui Wan and Yi Guan Jian modified)

  • Constrained liver and kidney deficiency: Tonify the kidney and emolliate the liver (Yang Yin Rou Gan San modified)

  • Hyperactive liver yang and yin deficiency: Nourish yin and sedate hyperactive liver yang (Qi Ju Di Huang Tang modified)

  • Spleen and kidney yang deficiency: Warm and tonify kidney and spleen (You Gui Wan plus Li Zhong Wan)

  • Heart and kidney non interaction: Nourish kidney and heart (Liu Wei Di Huang Wan modified)

  • Lung and kidney deficiency: Tonify and augment lung and kidney, secure the exterior and astringe sweating (Yu Ping Feng San and Mai Wei Di Huang Wan. Huang Qi, Fang Feng, Bai Zhu, Mai Dong, Wu Wei Zi, Shu Di, Shan Yao, Shan Yu Rou, Dan Pi, Fu Ling, Ze Xie)


This article is an extract from the Pearls of Wisdom Seminar in 2004. You can purchase the entire article as a downloadable pdf. Alternatively you can download the Pearls Souvenir Book which contains a total of 14 seminar and workshop lectures from Pearls of Wisdom Seminars 2002-12.

Pearls of Wisdom Souvenir 10th anniversary edition collecting 14 seminars and workshops  from 2002 to 2012.

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Treatment of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Menopausal Syndrome, Osteoporosis and Infertility


About Professor Guo Zhi Qiang

Professor Guo Zhi Qiang is one of China’s foremost experts in gynaecology of Chinese Medicine with more than 30 years of clinical experience in the treatment of infertility and other common gynaecological complaints including pelvic inflammatory diseas… Read more »


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