June 13, 2022

Gynecology and Obstetrics

Gynecology and obstetrics in Chinese medicine were chronicled as early as 2000 years ago. Original writings dealt with childbearing and labor but were scattered. However, several classical texts extant today devote significant discussions to gynecology and obstetrics in Chinese medicine. They are evidence of a long and thorough history of medical understanding and treatment protocols still pertinent today.

Effective Treatment for Many Problems

Chinese Medicine has proven effective in treating gynecological problems with acupuncture and herbal medicine integrated medical care which combines conventional Western medicine with Chinese medicine is a safe and routine medical practice in China, other Asian countries and increasingly now, the western world.

Some of the gynecological disorders effectively treated are endometriosis, infertility, dysmenorrhea, abnormal uterine bleeding, premenstrual syndrome, menopausal syndrome, uterine fibroids, chronic pelvic inflammation, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cervicitis and vaginitis. The curative effects of Chinese medicine in dealing with such disorders is well known, and the history of documentation is impressive historically as well.

A Long History of Gynecological and Obstetrics in Chinese Medicine

Titles are changed in translation and through time, but some of the classical works and their subject matter are:

The Book of Pregnancy, Labor and Postpartum by Tai Chan Shu. It was written during the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD), and described, for instance, the best time to conceive, and 10 months of embryology.

–Mountains and Seas by unknown authors sometime in the years 476-221 BC. It is the first text to describe herbal medicines for infertility.

–Zhong Pu Qi. 100 questions on gynecology and obstetrics answered explaining etiologies and pathologies. 1220 AD.

Ten Labors by Zi Jian Yang around 1098 AD. This text discusses 10 fetal positions including breech, transverse, frank, and cord wrapping.

Essentials from the Golden Cabinet by Zhong Jing Zhang, c. 219 AD. This text addressed gynecological and obstetrical diseases, providing differential diagnosis, treatment protocols and prescriptions.

— Rue Zhang Zhu, around 1184 AD. A discussion of the postpartum conditions, and specifically eclampsia seizure, microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, and cardiomyopathy.


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