Irregular Periods? Chinese Medicine Can Help You
The length of the menstrual cycle varies from woman to woman, but the average is to have periods every 28 days. For about 25% of women, that cycle may be longer, shorter, heavier, or lighter. To put it another way, it is pretty common for women’s periods to be irregular. Any woman who has ever asked herself, “How can I regulate my irregular periods naturally?” will be pleased to know that thanks to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are options that will help to narrow down and treat the root cause rather than having to rely on taking contraceptive hormones. To learn more about Chinese medicine for irregular period, read on.
What is an Irregular Period?
A normal menstrual cycle ranges from 21 to 35 days, If your cycle length falls in the normal range but varies by seven to nine days from cycle to cycle, it is considered a sign of an irregular period, too.
It is important to note that describing a period as irregular can mean a variety of things:
- Missing Period, also known as Amenorrhea is the lack of a period for at lease three cycles in the absence of pregnancy. Learn how Chinese medicine can help with missing periods here.
- Heavy period, also known as Menorrhagia refers to a heavier than usual flow. Learn how Chinese medicine can help with heavy period here.
- Light period, also known as Oligomenorrhea is a less-frequent period with a cycle of more than 35 days. Learn how Chinese medicine can help with light period here.
In addition to these types of irregular periods, some women experience shortened cycles, bleeding between periods, and periods occurring less than three weeks apart. Women who experience any of the above may be considered to have irregular periods.
Causes of Irregular Period According to Chinese Medicine
There are a range of reasons why a women may experience irregular period. For some women, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can cause irregular periods accompanied by cysts on the ovaries. For others, high levels of anxiety and stress can also be a factor in causing irregular periods. Chinese Medicine looks deeper into the cause and offers a holistic treatment.
According to TCM, other causes include:
- Liver Qi stagnation: The role of the Liver is to manage the flow of Qi and the storage of blood. It also has an important part in digestion. It even helps to regulate the menstrual cycle. If there is stagnation of the liver Qi, this may lead to delayed, irregular, or heavy periods. Some symptoms that indicate stagnation include breast tenderness and menstrual pain . When excess liver Qi is present and left untreated, it may cause liver heat.
Chinese medicine for irregular period teaches that these symptoms may be the result of too much stress and pessimistic emotions. Some toxins and foods may also lead to liver heat. Women with liver Qi stagnation may experience a period that is light colour accompanied by white, thin, vaginal discharge.
- Spleen deficiency: Since the role of the spleen is to move fluids and foods throughout the body, any spleen deficiency means that the body is not getting needed fluids and nutrients. If qi is deficient, dampness can result which can then lead to coldness and blood stasis. Women experiencing spleen deficiency may have symptoms including clots in menstrual discharge or a heavy flow.
- Kidney deficiency: Kidney qi plays an important role in the regulation of the mensural cycle. Late periods are an indication of kidney yang deficiency which can lead to coldness and stagnation. When yin is deficient, this can lead to an earlier period. Continued depletion of the kidneys will have a poor impact on a woman’s reproductive health. Those with kidney deficiency may experience bloating and sore breasts at the onset of their cycle.
Acupuncture for Irregular Period
The centuries-old practice of acupuncture is a safe, drug-free irregular period treatment that aims to relieve the symptoms leading to light or heavy flow, absent or frequent period, and other types of menstrual irregularities.
- Acupuncture can improve a light period thanks to its ability to promote promote blood flow.
- It can improve blood flow particularly to the ovaries and uterus, and thicken the endometrium to improve menstrual cycle.
- It helps to clear heat, reduce phlegm, and invigorate the blood to return periods to a regular cadence.
- Since stress is a known cause of irregular periods, acupuncture can help there as well. It can reduce physiological stress by restoring balance to the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
- Acupuncture promotes ovulation by increasing blood flow to the ovaries to support the maturation of a healthy egg.
- Acupuncture has also been shown to bring relief to women struggling with a heavy period.
When to have acupuncture for irregular period and how many sessions are recommended?
We recommend having weekly acupuncture sessions regardless of whether you are experiencing light period, heavy, irregular or missing period.
- During Menstruation
The aim of acupuncture during this phase is to promote blood to flow toward the uterus, this will allow the endometrial lining to shed successfully. Acupuncture during menstruation will reduce symptoms such as clots, cramps, pain, nausea.
- Acupuncture Pre Ovulation
Acupuncture during this phase will promote blood flow to the uterus and ovaries which will help in the development of the egg and improve the endometrial lining as well as cervical mucus.
- Acupuncture During Ovulation
Acupuncture during the ovulation period can assist with egg development and blood flow to the uterine lining.
- Acupuncture Post Ovulation
Acupuncture after you have ovulated can help with anxiety and emotional stress. If you are looking to conceive your acupuncturist will focus on implantation of the embryo into the uterus lining. However, if you are not looking to conceive and only looking to regulate the menstrual cycle acupuncture treatment will focus unblocking any obstruction to encourage free flow of Qi and reduce symptoms of PMS.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Balanced Diet : A healthy diet will go a long way to bring relief from irregular period. Foods that contain Vitamin E such as almonds, pumpkin, spinach, avocado, asparagus can promote blood flow to the uterus to improve the uterine lining. Foods that contain l-arginine, such as chicken and fish, can also help to strengthen the uterus.
Vitamins B and C are also important to include in a healthy diet. B-complex vitamins assist the liver in the metabolism of estrogen. Vitamin C will strengthen capillaries leading to a reduction in bleeding.
Exercise: Regular exercise is also a great addition if you are experiencing irregular period, gentle exercise promotes blood circulation and boost serotonin. Low impact exercises such as yoga and Taichi are highly recommended.
Avoid: To improve an irregular period, we recommend avoiding drinking cold liquids and sugary foods as they can lead to dampness and stagnation.
Irregular period treatment to most people often means drugs and hormones. Though these may help to treat certain symptoms, TCM goes beyond treating symptoms to resolve the root cause. Whether your period is light, heavy, frequent, or infrequent, acupuncture for irregular period may help to restore blood flow, relieve stagnation and deficiencies, reduce stress while bring the body into proper balance. If you are in need of relief and looking for a drug-free irregular period treatment, speak to a TCM practitioner about Chinese medicine for irregular period.
For more information about how Chinese Medicine can help you with irregular periods, book your free consultation with our Chinese Medicine experts today
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.