Unresolved trauma in the uterus can be a major, yet often overlooked aspect in a woman’s life, and may show as physical discomfort or emotional pain. My experience as a naturopath specialized in trauma, women’s and reproductive health, trauma-aware bodyworker, and birth doula (in training) has often shown me that a combination of the following may be present: somatized trauma (meaning emotional trauma that is stored in the physical body) which may show as digestive and gynecological problems, infertility, feeling numb or unexplained nerve pain, exposure to chronic stress and lack of nourishing resources, unhealthy sexual relationships, anxiety, generally not feeling worthy or good as a woman.
Very often I have also perceived disconnection between the woman and her sexual organs that may show as anger, hostility, and frustration towards her reproductive body parts.
Why is the uterus so important for the health of a woman?
The ancient Maya saw the uterus as the energetic centre of a woman. In their beliefs, the womb was also considered the root of a woman’s power. If her uterus was healthy, the woman was healthy.
A woman’s body is changing every day depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle. The female sex hormones are produced in her uterus and ovaries. If trauma in the uterus is present, it may impact the production of these hormones, which may lead to, for instance, PMS, a “difficult” menses, growths or it might be challenging to conceive or keep a pregnancy.
In a male approach to gynaecology, most OB/GYNs are likely to mainly focus on a woman’s reproductive organs, but not necessarily on her whole being, which includes her entire body and her emotional health. Women are incredibly strong, yet sensitive beings. Our bodies are way more complex than that of a man. Its complexity explains why many small changes in a sum can result in big, overall changes.
If there is unresolved trauma in the uterus, it is likely to impact her entire health. In Western medicine, we often only suppress symptoms without actually looking at what is causing them in the first place. This approach may work in some cases and the problem may be solved in the long-term, yet sometimes, the issue may resurface. In other instances, the initial issue for which she sought treatment may be solved, but instead, she might face another one.
If the cause of poor health is an unhealthy lifestyle, the lifestyle should be addressed. If the cause of the discomfort is of an emotional nature, then the mental wellbeing should be supported. From my experience, it is often a combination of the above, as well as an outdated belief system that was created to survive in an unhealthy environment due to the impact of emotional trauma, in which case we need to “upgrade” the woman’s belief system.
To change the belief system is a tricky one, as it takes time, a safe environment, the right support, a lot of courage and willingness to look at unpleasant aspects of your past. This, however, brings a lot of potential to heal on a deeper level and can bring holistic and liberating change that may literally transform your life.
What does trauma in the uterus look like?
Not every health issue is directly linked to trauma in the uterus. However, unresolved trauma in the uterus is likely to have an impact on a woman’s overall wellbeing.
Some common symptoms of trauma in the uterus are experiencing difficulty around your menstrual cycle or an imbalance with your female sex hormones. It could show as a “difficult” menses such as one with a very heavy flow, an extremely long or nauseatingly painful one. Trauma in the uterus could also show as infertility, unhealthy sexual relationships, or not being able to enjoy intimacy.
There are a number of reasons why a woman may carry trauma in her uterus. Within the scope of my practice, I have perceived three main origins of carrying trauma in the uterus:
1) Trauma caused by experiences of sexual violence or not feeling respected as a woman yourself.
2) Trauma caused by your mother’s experience during pregnancy, such as negative thoughts and feelings towards carrying a girl, hoping it would be a boy, and how you were treated as a girl in your childhood and adolescence, whether you witnessed violence against your mother or other women, and what belief system was instilled in you at an early age.
3) Through epigenetics and trans-generational trauma, i.e. what for instance your mother or grandmother experienced. Since the egg from which you developed in your mother’s womb was already formed while your grandmother was pregnant with your mother, trauma could have easily been passed from your grandmother to your mother, and yourself. Scientists have observed that epigenetic information can get passed on for even 14 (!) generations in roundworms, which may suggest that humans also pass on trauma for several generations.
How does it affect your adult life?
Psychotherapist Marti Glenn, PhD, mentioned a story about a woman who had a fulfilled life and relationship with her husband but lacked a good sexual relationship. In a hypnosis session, the client spoke about four soldiers that she saw in an old cobblestone lane that raped her. However, she could not recall such an event in real life and mentioned the memory to her mum, who broke down in tears. While her mother was pregnant with her, she had been raped by four soldiers in a cobblestone lane.
This may be an outstanding example of trauma during pregnancy but shows well the far-reaching consequences. It suggests that it matters what happened while your mother was pregnant with you, how she perceived her pregnancy, and what emotions she felt towards you or the people closest to her during that time.
In my practice, I have seen that particularly career women or athletes such as gymnasts, synchronized swimmers, marathon runners or women who lift heavy weights may be particularly prone to experiencing a difficult menses or struggle with infertility. Very often there is a strong need of control and conceiving is receiving and very feminine.
What can we do about it?
In the right environment with the right support, trauma-aware bodywork can be a potent tool to help resolve trauma from the uterus. Depending on your mental wellbeing and support system, a concurrent treatment by a skilled psychologist or psychotherapist may be beneficial, especially if you feel emotionally unstable.
- Letting go of trauma from the uterus
- Dramatic changes to how you feel as a woman
- Understanding your body and what it needs to set yourself on a long-term path to health
- Calming down the nervous system to help your body rebalance itself
- Learning tools and strategies to manage anxiety, stress, and sleep problems
- Natural remedies to help deal with physical symptoms and rebalance hormones
- Gentle lifestyle and diet changes without shocking your body
- Specific exercises and “homework” tailored to your body and individual situation
- Non-judgemental and trauma-aware support during and in between sessions
- A network of other therapists with whom I collaborate on a regular basis
“It only took one session for me to feel the emotional release I needed to conceive naturally”
“I am amazed at what I have been able to achieve with Jennifer’s help. Our paths crossed at the end of a 10-year challenging fertility journey and it only took one session for me to feel the emotional release I needed to conceive naturally. Her ability to treat the body bypassing the sometimes foggy mind is a very powerful and efficient tool. Jennifer is warm, kind and talented and I highly recommend her services.”
– M. (French Mama in Singapore)
Jennifer Eisenecker is an ex-banker, German-certified naturopath, and business owner. Knowing how limited time and mind space often are, her recommendations are practical, easy to follow, and as simple as possible.
Jennifer’s multi-disciplinary approach involves going back to basics, looking at health from a trauma-aware perspective, and achieving health by calming down the nervous system to optimize your body’s innate ability to rebalance itself. She loves herbs and natural remedies.
Dr. Christiane Northrup, M.D., OB/GYN, “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” https://www.drnorthrup.com/about/