Cold Sensation in Lower Abdomen, Womb, or Back Explained in TCM
As the female reproductive organs, such as the uterus, are located in the lower abdomen, sensations of coldness in the lower abdomen are often related to the reproductive system.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) refers to this as "Uterus Coldness", Cold Womb Syndrome (CWS), and Gong Han - a syndrome unique to adult women that are primarily manifested as menstrual disorders and dysmenorrhea.
TCM Root Causes
There are two main causes of uterus coldness: internal and external factors.
Internal factors: constitutional Yang deficiency. Women with a congenital predisposition to coldness, insufficient kidney Yang, or weakened Life Gate Fire (Ming Men) are more likely to develop an innate womb cold.
External factors: invasion by external cold evil. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), "cold evil" tends to congeal and constrict blood vessels, disrupt Qi and blood circulation, cause blood stasis and blockages in the meridians, and invade the uterus, leading to palace cold. Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as eating raw and cold foods, wearing belly-revealing clothing, dressing lightly in cold seasons, winter swimming, and staying in air-conditioned rooms for long periods of time can all contribute to the development of palace cold.
Women with uterus coldness often exhibit the following symptoms:
Menstrual disorders: Menstrual irregularities, dysmenorrhea, scanty menstrual flow, dark-colored blood clots, cold and pain in the lower abdomen, and diarrhea may all be present during menstruation. Some women may also experience shortness of breath, fatigue, abnormal vaginal discharge, lumbago, breast tenderness, nausea, insomnia, headache, and dizziness.
Coldness and aversion to cold: Women with uterus cold tend to prefer the heat over cold and often experience coldness and soreness in the waist and knees, cold limbs, and even a feeling of coldness throughout the body during menstruation. Women with deficient Yang may also experience a pale complexion, swollen eyelids, lack of energy, tastelessness in the mouth, and white tongue coating.
Weight gain: Women with palace cold may often feel cold and have cold hands and feet. As the uterus becomes colder, body fat acts as a "protector of the womb", leading to fat accumulation and weight gain.
Uterus coldness can also seriously affect women's fertility, with severe cases leading to infertility. This is because uterus coldness can:
Reduce the contraction ability of the uterus, which affects the binding of sperm and egg and lowers the chance of conception.
Cause spasms in the fallopian tubes, preventing the timely arrival of the egg in the uterus and lowering the chance of conception.
Traditional Chinese Medicine suggests the following methods for treating and preventing uterus coldness:
Keep warm. Women with cold wombs should pay attention to keeping warm, especially during seasonal transitions such as the transition from Winter to Spring, Spring to Summer, and Summer to Autumn.
Regulate daily lifestyle. Avoid eating raw and cold foods, wearing revealing clothing, dressing lightly in cold seasons, winter swimming, and prolonged stay in air-conditioned rooms.
Maintain emotional balance. Avoid emotional stress and maintain a positive outlook on life.
On top of the above tips and lifestyle changes, we strongly recommend patients visit for regular TCM treatments - often involving different modalities such as acupuncture, moxibustion, herbal medicine, etc. - to warm the meridian channels and restore balance.
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