How to get rid of irregular menstrual cycles ?


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Every woman past the age of puberty is supposed to have a menstrual cycle every month. So why is it that a natural occurrence that affects half of our population is so misunderstood? Why are irregular periods, dysmenorrhea (painful periods), menorrhagia (extremely heavy flow), amenorrhea (absence of a period), and oligomenorrhea (longer than normal cycles) so prominent in our society, yet have so few effective treatments? Learn the answers below.

For starters, we must realize that our bodies are very much affected by the environments in which we live. The lives of most American women have drastically changed in the last century. Women are starting their menstrual cycles earlier, they are waiting longer and often having fewer children, and we have longer life expectancies than before. On top of that, throw in high amounts of stress, juggling of careers and family, birth control methods that stimulate ones body to menstruate on a schedule that may not be normal for that individual, changes to our environment, poor dietary habits, and low amounts of exercise. It’s a wonder any of us are regular at all!
While Western medicine shows us that hormones control our cycles, Traditional Chinese Medicine looks to balance the body’s energies. It is believed that we must have a balance of yin, yang, Qi, and blood in order for our cycles to be regular, without pain, and of normal flow. Why is this so important? Pain, to state the obvious, is not pleasant; heavy flow is an inconvenience, and can sometimes lead to other medical problems such as anemia; and irregular cycles can make it very hard to predict ones ovulation schedule which can put a woman at a higher risk of unwanted pregnancy or be a hindrance when a couple is trying to become pregnant.

Acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs can help women to regain this essential  hormonal balance. Both have proven to be very effective in regulating the duration and amount of flow during ones cycle, as well as decreasing uterine contractions which may lead to pain and decrease ones chances of fertilized egg implantation. The acupuncturists at FirstHealth treat gynecological problems of all types almost daily. Here are some common sense tips for regulating ones menstrual cycles:

Exercise regularly but not excessively. Athletes who have rigorous training schedules are often found to have a lack of menses (amenorrhea).

Eat sensibly. Anorexia, bulimia, and obesity can all affect ones cycle.

Try to decrease stress. Physical and emotional stress can cause irregularities in ones cycle.

Monitor drug use. Recreational and sometimes prescription drugs can cause changes to menses as it affects our body on a biological level. For example, large amounts of aspirin use can lead to heavier bleeding.

Have a physical exam. Thyroid problems, endometriosis, menopause, pregnancy, international travel, dehydration, anemia, cysts, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, etc., can all be problematic to ones cycle.

Keep track of your cycles. Keeping track of how long between cycles, how many days of flow, the amount of blood, clotting, color of the blood, consistency of the blood, PMS symptoms, etc. can not only aide your caregivers in finding your correct diagnosis but will help you to understand your own body as well!   

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