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5 Reasons For Irregular Periods According To Traditional Chinese Medicine

When it comes to comprehending a woman’s health state, Chinese Medicine believes menstruation to be one of the most important components. A TCM practitioner must inquire about and assess the regularity, color, texture, quantity, and duration of menstruation, as well as the presence of clots or discomfort before, during, or after menstruation, among other things. From this information and other observations, the disharmony pattern can be deduced.


According to TCM, regular and healthy menstruation includes the following characteristics:


  • Regular: every 28-30 days.
  • Duration: 4-6 days.
  • Color: fresh and vivid red, from the beginning to the end of menstruation. Read more here.
  • Texture: fluid, without being completely liquid.

Any additional symptom that differs from these is symptomatic of abnormal menstrual function and should be treated.

Here are 5 reasons for irregular period according to Chinese Medicine

1. Blood Stagnation/ Stasis:

Irregular period with cramps 

Stagnant blood causes ovarian discomfort in the form of a fixed-location sharp pain, characteristic monthly belly pain or intense cramping in women. Blood stasis results in a long menstrual cycle and a scanty dark red menstrual flow with clots. It usually happens with pain in the hypogastrium that is relieved after the expulsion of the clots. This condition is often also characterised by a deep red turned tongue. To avoid it, our experts recommend activities such as exercise that will keep your blood flowing instead of becoming stagnant. Acupuncture and herbs like dong quai can be very effective if you are experiencing irregular period due to blood stagnation. 

2. Blood deficiency:

Light short period 

The blood’s functions include nourishing and hydrating the body’s tissues. Deficiency can result in cycle delay, dull ache in the lower abdomen, and other symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness, palpitations, elevated heart rate, muscular weariness, hair and nail weakening, and a deficiency of fluid during the period. It may cause reproductive issues if left untreated for an extended time.

Too much fast food, fried meals, and salty snacks in your diet can cause dehydration too because of the low amount of water in them. Instead, foods such as soups, stews, and fresh fruits come with plenty of fluids in them to replenish good hydration levels in the body. Food rich in iron is also recommended to prevent anemia along with herbs such as Dong Quai. 

3. Liver Heat 

Menstrual cycle shorter than 28 days

Irritability, rage, and excessive emotionality are the most common symptoms of Liver Qi stagnation, this also affects sleep hours as insomnia or nightmares. Everything stems from dissatisfaction and pent-up rage. Shorter than 28 days cycles with bright red menstrual flow, heat, or burnt red, thick flow with clots. Exteriorizes with a flushed face, dry mouth and great thirst at night. Constipation can appear also. To eliminate this heat herbs such as Bo He ( peppermint) and turmeric are recommended. 

4. Spleen Deficiency 

Irregular period with PMS 

As previously stated, Liver Heat or Liver Qi stagnation brings agitation days before menstruation begins. In certain situations, these symptoms come with pressure and discomfort in the breasts, abdomen and lumbar area of the back, as well as minor fluid retention. Most of the time, the bleeding is strong and clear. In this context we speak of premenstrual syndrome or PMS. A diet high in sugar, refined flour, and red meat, with a low amount of fruits, and fresh vegetables has a swelling effect on our bodies. Traditional Chinese doctors called this swelling “excessive dampness”. This dampness obstructs organs’ proper function, leads to sickness, and specifically weakens the spleen.

Women with a weak spleen are more likely to suffer from sensations of cold, pale face, and slight swelling (fluid retention). Moreover, a tendency to cry, depression, decay, and tiredness before menstruation. The spleen is weakened by cold and damp foods, it is recommend to consume more warming food. Learn more about damp diet here.

5. Qi Deficiency 

Irregular period due to stress and poor diet 
The origin of this type of disharmony is physical or mental exhaustion, prolonged stress, as well as a lack of nutrition. QI has 2 important functions: pushing (mobilising fluids) and retaining (holding fluids within their natural channels). The lack of these 2 characteristics manifests itself with diffuse pain, hard to pinpoint, especially at the end of menstruation that pushes through the waist from the lower abdomen to the lumbar region. This pain improves with therapeutic massage. This syndrome means short menstrual cycles with abundant menstrual flow, characterised by flowing light red colour, loss of appetite, loose stools, tiredness, pale tongue.

Learn more about TCM’s view on irregular periods directly from our TCM experts!

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our consultation page where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.

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