Amenorrhea (absent period) & Chinese Medicine
Absent period, known as Amenorrhea is when a female experiences absence of menstruation. A women should normally menstruate every 23 to 35 days. There are 2 types of Amenorrhea. Primary – when a women has never had her first period. Secondary – when a women has menstruated previously but stopped menstruating for consecutive 3 months or more.
At our clinics – GinSen we frequently get visits from women who are seeking to get their period back or help with irregular period. Amenorrhea can be a sign of other underlying issues, if left untreated it could lead to further complications.
Common causes of secondary amenorrhea in clinic
- PCOS and/or early menopause
- Fluctuation of body weight – excessive or suddenly weight loss or weight gain
- Prolactin-secreting pituitary tumors
- Excessive exercise or workouts
- (GnRH) a hormone that is responsible for releasing FSH and LH slows down or stops.
Common causes of secondary amenorrhea based on Chinese Medicine
According to Chinese Medicine there are several reasons that can be the cause behind amenorrhea.
Emotional stress may cause amenorrhea. When looking at menstrual problems such as amenorrhea your emotional feelings can be further broken down into 2 categories, namely, acute emotions and chronic emotions.
1.a Acute emotions
Acute emotions in this case can be recognised as high levels of stress and anxiety or deep sadness. These acute emotions are a shock to your body, based on Chinese Medicine belief, this would cause a stagnation in Qi, Liver Qi and blood stasis it also results in immediate blockage in energy. This means the vital energy flow (Qi) is affected, slowing down the blood circulation affecting the period flow. In this case the GnRH hormone slows down or stops.
1.b Chronic emotions
Chronic emotions can be identified as long term stress or pressure, this could be from work, personal life or any other aspect of your life. You body and mind have been experience these emotions for a long time, based on Chinese Medicine belief these emotions would depress the Liver Qi and stagnate Qi and blood. This means the vital energy flow (Qi) is affected, and the fertility organs have less nutrients being supplied to them affecting your menstrual cycle.
Numerous aspect of your day to day lifestyle can affect your menstrual cycle leading to amenorrhea. Factors such as excessive work, sudden and excessive weight loss, weight gain and unbalanced diet.
2.a Excessive work
Excessive work, when you carry out work beyond your body’s limit, this can damage Kidney Qi energy levels. In Chinese Medicine, Kidney is one of the 3 main fertility organs which are in charge of fertility and hormones. With Kidney Qi being affected, there is low energy in the fertility organs resulting in poor function of the ovaries causing periods to stop.
2.b Excessive Weight Loss
When your body goes through weight changes such as excessive weight loss, this affects Kidney Qi, blood and essence ( essence is related to FSH level and AMH levels), resulting fertility organs to have low energy, low blood flow and low essence. Due to these low levels, the production of healthy eggs, ovaries and periods are affected.
2.c Excessive Weight Gain
When your body gains excessive weight, accumulation of body fat, fluid and water retention occurs. This accumulation blocks energy channels, slowing down energy flow (Qi) and blood circulation causing periods to stop.
2.d Unbalanced Diet
Unbalanced diet can affect absent period. If you follow a vegan, vegetarian or irregular food schedule (skip meals, not consuming enough food, no or less protein), could result in reduced blood ( related animal fat/protein ) and Yin (vitamins and mineral) needed by your body. This will follow a slow down in Qi and Yang, affecting fertility function and stopping periods.
Chronologic fatigue or iron deficiency, in Chinese Medicine is related to deficiency of Qi, Blood, or Yin, or Yang, which could cause periods to be absent.
4. Other Health Issues
Other health issues could also cause absent period ( amenorrhea) conditions such as:
- PCOS ovarian cyst
- Chronic IBS
- Cancer issues: Ovarian cancer, a pituitary gland tumour
- Chemotherapy drugs or high blood pressure medications
Natural Chinese Medicine treatment for absent period amenorrhea
Chinese Medicine uses several natural, drug free, non invasive treatments such as Acupuncture, Moxibustion , Cupping , Herbal Tea, and Herbal Supplements. They can work at individual or in combination together for enhanced results.
The goal with Chinese Medicine Treatments is to balance hormones through increased blood circulation, unblocking energy channels, eliminating accumulated toxins.
Recommended Herbal supplements for absent periods
- Absent period due to iron (blood) deficiency
Recommended supplement: Gui Pi Tang, Blood Maintenance, Woman’s Life power
- Absent Period due to Energy blockage caused by Stress
Recommended supplement: Liver Maintenance, Mood Balance Remedy, Tao Hong Si Wu Tang,
- Amenorrhea due to deficiency
- Absent period due to obesity:
Recommended supplement: Orient Weight Management, Detoxing Tea, Fei Yan Tea
The Bottom Line
Traditional Chinese Medicine ( TCM) is medical system is based on use of natural ingredients. It has passed on from generations to generations and has successfully helped with absent periods naturally. If you have not had success with other treatments with treating amenorrhea, Chinese Medicine can help.