Irregular bleeding is under the category of dysfunctional uterine bleeding, or abnormal bleeding for which no specific cause has been found.
There are different presentations:
Intermenstrual bleeding: Bleeding between menstrual periods.
Menorrhagia: Prolonged bleeding (over 7 days) or excessive amounts (more then 80ml per day), occurring at regular intervals.
Menometrorrhagia: Prolonged or excessive bleeding occurring at irregular and more frequent intervals then normal.
Oligomenorrhea: Menstruation occurring at intervals longer then 35 days up to 6 months.
Amenorrhea: No bleeding for 6 months or longer.
Polymenorrhea: Menstruation occuring at regular intervals of less then 21 days.
Irregular Menstruation According to Chinese Medicine
Irregular menstruation can be attributed to the following causes;
- Excessive physical work
- Overwork-including mental
- Improper diet-spicy food
- Emotional stress
- Chronic illness
- Having too many children
- Chronic bleeding
Causing the following patterns in Chinese Medicine:
Qi deficiency: Early menstruation that is pale and dilute but heavy, tiredness, poor appetite, loose stool, light red tongue with a weak pulse.
Blood heat: Early menstruation that is bright or dark red and heavy, anxiety, restlessness, flushed face, thirst, dark urine, dry stools, red tongue with yellow coating, rapid and strong pulse.
Blood heat with liver qi stagnation: Early menstruation that is purple/red with clots, amount that is normal or less, abdominal distension with pain, chest fullness, breast distention, easily angry and irritable, bitter taste in the mouth, dry throat, red tongue with thin yellow coating and tight and rapid pulse.
Deficient heat: Early menstruation that is red and sticky, amount can be heavy or less, flushed cheeks, feverish sensation in the palms and soles, red tongue with little or no coating and pulse that is fine and rapid.
Blood Deficiency: Delayed menstruation that is light and color and less amount, dull and pale complexion, blurred vision, dizziness, palpitations, insomnia, tongue that is light red and pulse that is fine and weak.
Yang deficiency with cold: Delayed menstruation that is light red, less amounts with no clots, dull abdominal pain, sore lower back, a desire for warmth and pressure, loose stools, frequent night urination, a pale tongue and pulse that is deep and weak.
Qi stagnation: Delayed menstruation with less amount and clots, irritability, depression, abdominal and breast distention 7-10 days before menstrual flow, normal tongue with a tight pulse.
Cold accumulation: Delayed menstruation that is dark red with clots but less amount, abdominal pain during menstruation that is relieved by heat and worse with pressure, a cold sensation in the lower abdomen, tight abdomen on palpation, tongue is pale with thick white coating and pulse is full and tight.
Kidney deficiency: Irregular menstruation that is thin with less amount, light or dark in colour, low back ache, dizziness, ear ringing, light red tongue with less coating and pulse that is thin.