Postpartum bleeding according to Chinese Medicine

TCM Education Center > List of conditions > Postpartum bleeding

In Chinese Medicine, postpartum bleeding can be associated with two so-called "patterns of disharmony". Chinese Medicine sees the body as a system, not a sum of isolated parts. A "pattern" is when the system's harmony is disrupted. It is not equivalent to the Western concept of "disease", as a matter of fact here postpartum bleeding can be caused by two different patterns.

To understand whether someone's postpartum bleeding might be caused by a given pattern, one needs to look for signs and symptoms associated with the pattern beyond what one might typically experience from postpartum bleeding alone. For instance when postpartum bleeding is caused by the pattern Blood Stagnation and Phlegm in the Uterus, patients also experience symptoms such as persistent uterine bleeding of purple or dark blood, lower abdominal distension and pain that increases with pressure, fibroids and cysts in the lower abdomen and painful period.

We've listed below a description of the two patterns associated with postpartum bleeding so that you can start to get an understanding of the various possibilities according to Chinese Medicine.

Once identified, patterns are often treated using herbal formulas. Drinking herbal infusions is the most common remedy in Chinese Medicine, together with acupuncture. Here we detail below Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan, a formula that can help treat the patterns Blood Stagnation and Phlegm in the Uterus and Blood Stagnation in the Directing and Penetrating Vessels.

The two "patterns of disharmony" associated with postpartum bleeding

Blood Stagnation in the Directing and Penetrating Vessels

Postpartum bleeding might be due to Blood Stagnation in the Directing and Penetrating Vessels if the condition is paired with typical pattern symptoms such as irregular menstruation, brown vaginal discharge, dark clots in menstrual blood and painful period. Similarly, patients with Blood Stagnation in the Directing and Penetrating Vessels typically exhibit choppy (Se) or wiry (Xian) pulses as well as a bluish-purple tongue.

Read more about Blood Stagnation in the Directing and Penetrating Vessels here

Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan, a herbal formula that might help with postpartum bleeding

Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan

Source date: 220 AD

Number of ingredients: 5 herbs

Key actions: Promotes Blood and lymphatic circulation, thus eleminates Blood Stagnation. Softens and resolves hard lumps such as cysts and fibroids.

Why might Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan help with postpartum bleeding?

Because it is a formula often recommended to help with the patterns Blood Stagnation and Phlegm in the Uterus and Blood Stagnation in the Directing and Penetrating Vessels which are sometimes associated with postpartum bleeding. If any of these patterns look like something you might suffer from, this formula might help (although please seek confirmation with a professional practitioner beforehand).

Read more about Gui Zhi Fu Ling Wan here