Internal organ prolapse is a common clinical condition. Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a common condition affecting many adult women. Prolapse can affect a variety of organs, for example, in women it can affect the uterus, vagina or bladder, while rectum prolapse can happen to both sexes. Except pelvic organs, prolapse also might happen in stomach or kidneys.
The clinical manifestations are various according to the effected organ. Uterus and vagina prolapse can cause irritation to vaginal tissues or pain during intercourse, as well as psychological stress; bladder prolapse can cause stress incontinence and difficulty in starting to urinate; rectum prolapse can cause trapped stool, anus pain, pressure, and constipation; stomach prolapse can cause reduced appetite, bloating, nausea, constipation or loose stool; kidney prolapse can cause lower back pain, microscopic hematuria and urinary tract infection. Irrespective of where the prolapsed is, most patients will suffer from fatigue and prolapse sensation in the pelvis or abdomen.
Western medicine will mainly treat internal organ prolapse by surgical operation. A newer option is laparoscopic surgery. These operations maybe cause some complications such as urinary tract infection, temporary or permanent incontinence, infection, bleeding and some women may even develop chronic irritation or pain during intercourse from a suture or scar tissue. There is also a risk of recurrence after operation.
The Chinese medicine theory believes that the spleen dominates muscles. All the internal organs are fixed by smooth muscles to keep them in the normal position. Organs prolapse due to the sinking of the Qi of the middle Jiao, meaning the Qi sinking in the spleen and stomach.
Therefore, Chinese medicine aims to treat the prolapsed organs with the same treatment principle – i.e. lifting the Qi of middle jiao by tonifying the spleen and benefit Qi. Lifting spleen Qi can lift prolapsed organs. There is a famous herbal formula called Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang and it is the first choose for this condition. This formula contains eight ingredients; the most important ingredient is Huangqi (Radix Astragli) and it must be used in high doses. Amendments to the original formula are always necessary according to the individual case.
Acupuncture is also significantly effective in lifting spleen Qi. Some acupoints on the spleen and stomach meridian can be selected, like SP10, SP6, ST36, ST25. Some local points on Ren meridian can be selected, like RN12, RN6, RN4 and RN3. All the points should apply tonifying manipulation.
Chinese medicine has adopted this method to treat prolapsed organs since Jin Dynasty (1115 – 1234AD) and there were a great number of successful cases recorded in classic literature. Personally, I have also treated many successful cases in my own practice. A good combination of herbal decoction and acupuncture will see increased effectiveness in lifting prolapsed organs.