Home / Acupuncture and Irregular Menstruation

Millions of women around the world experience irregular periods either as a temporary occurrence or a sustained biological pattern. 30%of all women will go through this experience over the course of their child bearing years.70% of women will experience irregular periods as they inch closer to their menopause (between early and mid-40’s).

We have had much success at Boca Raton Acupuncture treating irregular menstruation with acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and nutritional guidance. Before we delve more into Chinese medicine and how it treats this condition let’s explore about the causes, symptoms and typical western treatments of this condition.

What is irregular menstruation?

In medical circles, a menstrual period is considered regular if it occurs every 28 days, with a wiggle room of 7 days allowed either way (essentially, your period is regular if it occurs between 21 and 35 days). A period becomes irregular if it takes shorter than 21 days to occur, lasts for more than 8 days or fails to occur altogether. One of biggest the causes of irregular periods is hormonal imbalances, which can be attributed to stress, diet, birth control pills as well as pre-existing medical conditions.

Symptoms of irregular menstruation

  • Abnormally long or short cycles
  • Bleeding that comes randomly between periods – mid cycle spotting
  • Menstrual bleeding that takes place for longer than it should – maximum should be 8 days
  • Flow of blood that is either too heavy or too light
  • Acne
  • Random growth of hair
  • In some cases, patients either gain weight or lose a significant amount of weight
  • Some patients experience a light nipple discharge

Western medical treatment for irregular menstruation

  1. Hormone therapy – We know that irregular menstruation is caused by a hormonal imbalance in the patient’s system. Professionals will routinely advise patients to consume birth control products that have both progesterone and estrogen. Some experts have also suggested the use of hormone drugs in the mold of progestin.
  2. Surgery – Depending on the severity of the problem, some doctors might decide to perform surgeries that help regulate cycles. In some cases, the lining of your uterus is reduced. In others, tissue masses are removed from inside or around the uterus.

Acupuncture for Irregular Menstruation

Over the last decade or so, acupuncture has become a focal reference point for patients looking to regulate their menstruation or at least bring their hormones under control. Its use is complemented by other facets of Traditional Chinese Medicine, mainly Chinese herbal medicine, always to a satisfying effect. Specific acupuncture points have been observed over thousands of years to work on reducing stress, improving circulation of qi and blood, and thus regulating  a woman’s hormone cascade. In our Boca Raton clinic, many cases of irregular menstruation have been regulated and balanced within 90 days.

Studies that support the use of acupuncture in the successful treatment of irregular menstruation

In a controlled trial conducted from mid 2009 to late 2010, 32 women suffering from irregular menstruation were administered acupuncture. This treatment was performed twice a week for a total of 13 weeks. Tests were conducted continuously over this time, and doctors noted a significant change in hormonal ranges, especially with reference to estrogen and progesterone. The changes consistently worked toward a balance in the acupuncture group. The results showed a strong support for women suffering from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome because they proved a case for their use in ovulation induction.

FanQu and JueZhou, noted researchers in the field of TCM, note that acupuncture is not limited to irregular menstruation and can be used to treat a whole range of gynecological disorders across the board, with some of the most common being endometriosis, infertility, PMS, uterine bleeding and menopausal syndrome. Acupuncture has been demonstrated to improve menstrual frequency and to decrease circulating testosterone in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).  The two are quick to note that acupuncture needs to be accompanied by other TCM practices, again usually Chinese herbal medicine, in order to be optimally effective.

If you’re dealing with irregular menstruation or any of the other issues outlined in this article give us a call. We have been successfully treating many women’s health issues and we’d love to help you as well. Consultations are always free!

 

Research Sources

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3773899/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23482444
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2816470/