Primary dysmenorrhea (PD) is a common and high incidence disease in gynecology, which seriously affects the quality of life in young women. Our previous study found that mild moxibustion could treat abdominal pain of PD patients, but the mechanism is still unclear. Therefore, this study aims to partly investigate the treatment mechanism of moxibustion for PD, especially on uterine microcirculation.
Forty 3-month-old Sprague Dawley female rats were randomly divided into four groups, including group A (saline control group, n = 10), group B (control plus moxibustion group, n = 10), group C (PD model group, n = 10), group D (PD. model plus moxibustion group, n = 10). The PD rat model was established by injecting estradiol benzoate and oxytocin. Mild moxibustion on Sanyinjiao (SP6) and Guanyuan (CV4) acupoints was once a day, 20 minutes per time, for 10 consecutive days. A vaginal smear was used to test the estrous cycle of rats. Uterine microvascular thickness was observed by stereomicroscope. And we detected the content of prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) in uterine tissue by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Mild moxibustion can enlarge the microvessels, improve the microcirculation disturbance, and relieve the swelling of the uterus in PD rats. During the mild moxibustion intervention, the contents of PGF2α and PGE2 in uterus issues were synchronous increases or decreases and the changes of PGE2 were more obvious, but the changes of uterine microvasculature and morphology caused by the decrease of PGF2α were greater than PGE2.
Mild moxibustion at SP6 and CV4 acupoints may relax uterine microvascular obstacle by reducing the content of PGF2α in uterine tissue, improve the microcirculation disorder, and then alleviate the PD rat's uterine swelling.