Menstruation, or periods, is the monthly shedding of the lining of the womb and are part of the female reproductive cycle. They start during puberty (between the ages of 10 and 16) and continue until the menopause (45 to 55). The average menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, but can vary between 24 and 35 days.
It can take up to two years for periods to settle into a regular cycle. After puberty, most women develop a regular menstrual cycle, with around the same length of time between periods. Menstrual bleeding normally lasts between two and seven days, with the average being five days. However, some women have an irregular menstrual cycle. This is where the time between periods, the amount of blood lost and the number of days bleeding lasts all vary widely.
The pattern of a woman’s menstrual cycle can be disturbed by a change in contraception method. It could also be affected by an imbalance of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which regulate the menstrual cycle.
Irregular periods are common during puberty or nearing menopause. Treatment during these times is usually not necessary.
As mentioned earlier the menstrual cycle can be affected by changing the contraception method, or an imbalance of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which regulate the menstrual cycle.
There are several factors, outlined below, which can cause a hormone imbalance and these include polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS occurs when many cysts or small, fluid-filled sacs develop in the ovaries. The usual symptoms of PCOS are irregular or light periods, or no periods at all.
This is because in PCOS, ovulation (the releasing of an egg) often does not take place. Also, the production of hormones may be unbalanced, and you could have higher levels of testosterone (a male hormone that women have a small amount of) than normal.
Lifestyle factors such as extreme weight loss or weight gain, excessive exercise or even stress can upset your balance of hormones and cause irregular periods.
Acupuncture is excellent at balancing the menstrual cycle and regulating the period. It may also help with symptoms associated with PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), for example, irritability, headaches, bloating, breast tenderness, emotional sensitivity and depression.
Emotional stress such as anger and frustration can disturb the Liver Energy which will in turn lead to irregular cycles. This can also lead to Stagnation of the Blood. Acupuncture can help improve the flow of the Liver Qi and release stagnant Blood