Dr.Lee: Good morning! Nice to meet you, Ashley! Kinda a familiar name!
Ashley: Nice to meet you, too. What’s up with my name, tho?
Dr.Lee: Haha, just kidding. Actually your name is everywhere in Korea. It’s the name of Western food buffet. Nevermind.
Ashley: Sorry but I don’t think you have a good sense of humor... work on that.
Dr.Lee: Come on! Cut me some slack. So what brought you here by the way?
Ashley: I used to have no menstrual cramps. I think it was about a year ago when I started to have menstrual pain and since then the pain has gradually become more severe.
Dr.Lee: Do you bleed more than before during periods?
Ashley: About the same. But the blood discharged during my periods has become darker and also blood clots are seen.
Dr.Lee: Do you have pain during intercourse?
Ashley: Ah! Yes. I lately feel pain during intercourse with my boyfriend. I thought it had nothing to do with menstrual pain.
Dr.Lee: Have you undergone an ultra sound?
Ashley: Yes. I visited an OB-GYN clinic last week and the doctor said there was nothing wrong with my uterus. I’m actually waiting for the result of blood test. The doctor said that regardless of ultrasound findings this could be endo... something. I forgot its name. He told me to come see him in a week.
Dr.Lee: Your symptoms could be endometriosis. Ring a bell?
Ashley: Yeah. What is it exactly?
Dr.Lee: Endometriosis is a gynecological condition in which endometrial cells proliferate outside the uterine cavity, commonly on the membrane which lines the abdominal cavity. The endometrial cells outside the uterus respond to female hormones in a way that is similar to the cells found inside the uterus. Symptoms of endometriosis are pelvic pain, menstrual cramps, infertility, pain during sexual intercourse, etc.
Ashley: Infertility? That doesn’t sound very good but I don’t want any surgical treatments. Can you treat it with Korean medicine?
Dr.Lee: Sure thing. What really matters is not whether it’s diagnosed as endometriosis or not but if you have typical symptoms caused by blood stagnation. Note that the word ‘blood’ in Korean medicine is not same as that in Western medicine, though. Stagnant blood in our body may cause several symptoms such as pricking or squeezing pain, night pain, blood clots during menstruation, dark complexion, purplish lips and nails, and a choppy and knotted pulse.
Ashley: Hmm.. What should I do?
Dr.Lee: Let me see. (진찰후) I’ll prescribe ‘少腹逐瘀湯’ for 15 days. You need to visit my clinic when you finish with medicine.
Ashley: Ok. Thank you!
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Published by Lee, Sang-il
Edited by Anna Joy Toombs & Troy Flowers
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