Unless your period is very uncomfortable or very unpredictable, you have likely not paid it too much mind beyond “taking care of business” each month.
Little did you know, your body is giving you a monthly status report! There is so much you can learn from your period if you know how to interpret it. Your period can be an essential gauge of your reproductive health!
What is normal anyway?
A healthy period is regular, coming every 26-34 days, arrives with full flow of red blood and lasts for 2-3 days of substantial bleeding with no pain, followed by 1-2 days of light bleeding and then stops.
If that doesn’t describe you, the details of your period can reveal a lot about your fertility.
Here’s what your period can tell you. If you have:
- pain – pain is not a natural part of a period. Many women experience pain-free periods, so when pain is present, it points to something going awry. Typically pain is present when there is tension in the system or when there is something interfering with the blood flowing out smoothly and the prostaglandin levels keep increasing to try to get the uterus to squeeze out the blood.
- clotting with pain – we call this blood stasis in TCM and it is a more pronounced condition than just painful periods. This is usually indicative of both inflammation and blood moving slowly so that it clots before coming out.
- clotting with no pain – this comes with either slow flow or thin uterine lining.
- heavy flow – is usually due to inflammation or something increasing the surface area of your uterus like a fibroid or polyp. There is some difficulty in stopping the blood flow where the endometrium separates from the uterus wall. One of the concerns with heavy flow is the loss of iron with the period each month as a cause for anemia.
- light flow – may be due to a thin lining from low estrogen levels or poor hormone metabolism moving hormones out of the blood stream.
- flow that starts and stops – we call this qi stagnation in Chinese medicine and it makes it so that things are not flowing smoothly and are coming erratically. Usually there is some component of psychological stress associated with this symptom and often comes with significant PMS.
- no period – there are a number of reasons for no period, either there is no ovulation as with conditions like PCOS or body fat is low and the hormones of reproduction are not functioning. It could also be a symptom of menopause, depending on where in your reproductive life you are.
Can acupuncture help me?
As part of my diagnostic process, I ask about all aspects of your period, the color, the flow, the timing and any symptoms that happen with your cycle. It’s through this big picture view that I can get the best diagnosis and design a treatment plan that is perfect for you.
As we go through treatment, your period is a great indicator if your lifestyle changes are actually working to improve your reproductive health. You can expect healthy changes in your cycle within 2-3 months of treatment.
Whether you’re dealing with problematic periods or you’re planning to get pregnant, book in to see me and we’ll get started on getting your cycle balanced!