Although many women have small variations in their menstrual cycle from month to month, more pronounced changes can be considered irregular menstruation. An irregular period is defined as follows:
- The time between episodes is variable or very unpredictable
- Blood volume during each period changing from light to heavy or vice versa
- The number of bleeding days varies significantly
Women with irregular periods may have only one or all three of these conditions. Menstruation can also be irregular for a few cycles, return to normal and then become irregular later. Many factors can cause irregular periods, including:
- Inserting an IUD
- Changing contraceptive pills or some medicines
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid problems
- Hormonal imbalances
- Uterine fibroids or polyps
Treating irregular periods is important because they have such a big impact on both current and future fertility. Many of the underlying problems that can cause menstrual irregularity can also affect hormone production, egg quality, ovulation and the formation and quality of the endometrium. Imbalances in any of these areas can affect a woman’s chances of getting and staying pregnant. For women who are currently trying to conceive, irregular menstruation also makes it difficult to determine ovulation. Since the fertile window typically lasts less than a week, the inability to predict when ovulation will occur reduces the chances of conception in any given cycle.
For these reasons, correcting irregular cycles is the main focus of TCRA treatments. Ideally, we look for periods that arrive every 28 days, ovulation on day 14 and a continuous 4 days of moderate bleeding. Each treatment is tailored to the woman’s individual structure, so that the body gently regulates itself. Because acupuncture treats stress and helps normalise hormone levels, acupuncture is very effective in achieving a regular cycle. Chinese herbal remedies are another effective, personalised tool for women struggling with irregular periods.
We use formulas tailored to each individual’s follicular phase, luteal phase and menstrual cycle to influence the length of each cycle. TCRA’s reproductive medicine and women’s health specialists are experienced in diagnosing the underlying causes of irregular menstruation and successfully treating them.