Amenorrhea – No Period
Regular monthly periods (after the onset on mensrtuation and before menopause) is a sign of health. When the period is missing, it is definitly cause for some concern.
Amenorrhea is diagnosed when there have been three missed periods (secondary amenorrhea), or if a woman has not had a period by the age of 18, in which case it is called primary amenorrhea.
In the case of primary amennorhea, it is important to investigate the biomedical reason why the period has not begun. There could be reasons such as structural abnormalities, a disorder of the hypothalamus, pituitary insufficiency, chromosome abnormalities or problems with the ovaries. In serious cases, it would beyond the scope of Chinese Medicine.
In the case of secondary amenorrhea, when a woman has stopped getting her period, the causes are more related to a lack of ovulation, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders or early menopause.
How Chinese Medicine Treats Amenorrhea
Once any serious issues have been ruled out, Chinese Medicine is a great option to treat amenorrhea safely, naturally and with no hormone replacements and their side effects.
In Chinese Medicine, we aim to find the root imbalance in the body that is leading to the absence of the monthly cycle.
When TCM can help:
Depending on the severity of the issue, Chinese Medicine has been shown to help in the following types of amenorrhea.
When the problem is acute- it is a good idea to get treatment as soon as you have missed 3 period cycles, the longer that an imbalance is left, it will become worse and harder to treat.
When the problem is due to stress or lifestyle changes-lifestyle and stress can suppress the release of GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) from the hypothalamus disrupting the menstrual cycle hormones.
When the problem is related to anovulation such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Typically, if Western medicine can successfully treat the amenorrhea, so can Chinese Medicine. Many of the herbs used in our formulas have hormone regulating effects-without the side effects of taking hormone replacement.
When TCM may not be effective:
When the problem is chronic or has been going on for a very long time.
When the problem is due to a chronic disease.
When there is an autoimmune disorder involved such as Grave’s disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis- the thyroid cells may have been destroyed beyond repair.
When there is an eating disorder involved.
Premature ovarian failure-early menopause.
Any structural or chromosome abnormalities.
Chinese Medicine categorizes the causes of amennorrhea into the following main syndromes:
Liver and Kidney Deficiency:
No period by the age of 18, periods coming over 35 days apart, gradual onset of amenorrhea, dizziness, tinnitus, aching lower back and knees, dry mouth, feverish sensation in the palms and feet and chest, hot flashes and sweating, dark complexion or flushed cheeks, light red tongue with little or no coating, thready and tight pulse.
Qi and Blood Deficiency:
Gradual development of ammenorrhea from cycles getting longer and longer with less amount of blood, sallow complexion, lustreless hair, hair loss, dizziness, blurred vision, palpitations, shortness of breath, no desire to speak, anorexia, loose stools, pale lips and tongue, thin and weak pulse.
Yin Deficiency and Blood Dryness:
Gradual development of amenorrhea from cycles getting longer and longer, flushed cheeks, night sweating, hot sensations in the chest, palms and soles, thready pulse, small red tongue with no coating.
Qi and Blood Stagnation:
Ammenorrhea, depression, irritability, rage, distending full chest and sides, pain that is worse with pressure in the lower abdomen, purplish tongue with purple spots, deep and unsmooth pulse.
Phlegm Damp Obstruction:
Amenorrhea, obesity, whitish complexion, full distending chest and sides, emotional emptiness, vaginal discharge, whitish greasy coating on the tongue, slippery pulse.