Acupuncture for menstrual irregularities

Menstrual irregularities may take various forms, from short cycle to long cycle, irregular periods, heavy periods, scanty periods, long periods, mid-cycle bleeding, painful periods or amenorrhoea. In a state of health and balance, women should not suffer from mood swings or painful periods and acupuncture has long been used to regulate periods, balance emotions and reduce pain.

Early periods: periods consistently up to 7 days early so that the cycle is less than 28 days long for more than 2 successive cycles.

Late periods: periods up to 7 days late for more than 2 cycles.

Irregular periods: periods sometimes late and sometimes early in an unpredictable pattern.

Heavy periods: periods are regular, lasting 3 to 7 days but heavier than normal. They often start with a gush of blood necessitating an urgent use and frequent changes of tampon or sanitary towels.

Scanty or light periods: bleeding is very light, may last only 2-3 days or is extremely sparse, like a small drip.

Long periods: prolonged bleeding (for up to 2 weeks) while the cycle is regular and the amount of bleeding itself not excessive.

Painful periods (dysmenorrhea): menstrual pain occurring before, during or after menstruation. In severe cases, symptoms may include nausea and vomiting, or even fainting.

Bleeding between periods occurs consistently at about the midpoint of the cycle, which may last 1-2 days, though occasionally longer.

Primary amenorrhea (absence of period): absence of period by the time a woman is 18. Secondary amenorrhea: periods have stopped for at least three months.

For most of the above symptoms, the hormones estrogen, progesterone or a combination of both will be prescribed in the form of pills, injection, or suppository cream.

Chinese Medicine views menstrual disorders as a condition of systematic imbalance and disharmony which cause can usually be found in the person's dietary habits, life style, exercise habits, emotional stress, etc. For example, anger, including frustration, resentment, bearing irritation or grudges can cause the stagnation of Qi which may lead to irregular periods, premenstrual tension, and dysmenorrheal (painful periods). Along with acupuncture treatment, dietary therapy, meditation and lifestyle suggestions may be used to reestablish balance.

Acupuncture can also help with PCOS, endometriosis or cysts and restoring balance would also help regulate your cycle if your period has stopped.