A normal menstrual cycle typically occurs every 28-32 days and lasts 4-7 days. It is known as amenorrhea when the period is significantly delayed or fails to arrive altogether.
Irregular Periods & Amenorrhea
In Western medicine, amenorrhea can be classified as either primary or secondary. Primary amenorrhea is diagnosed when a woman is 18 years or older and has never experienced a period, while secondary amenorrhea occurs when a woman has had periods that later cease.
Causes of Amenorrhea
Amenorrhea is not a disease but rather a potential indication of an underlying imbalance in the body. The regulation of a regular menstrual cycle involves a complex system of messages and actions orchestrated by the endocrine system. This system relies on the coordinated activity of endocrine glands and the hormones they secrete to maintain a delicate feedback loop. Various factors can disrupt this delicate balance and interfere with the menstrual cycle.
There is a direct association between anovulation and obesity, particularly in women who are overweight. Excessive body fat can lead to an excess of estrogen. Conversely, underweight women may also experience anovulation due to insufficient body fat. Inadequate estrogen levels or low cholesterol levels needed to support the menstrual cycle could be contributing factors. Research has shown that excessive exercise can significantly lower estradiol levels due to diminished body fat in key areas, leading to anovulation.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder among women of reproductive age. Young women may mistakenly view the absence of a regular cycle or infrequent menstruation (3-6 times a year) as positive because they do not have to worry about menstruation. However, they may not realize the impact on their fertility. It is not considered natural for women to menstruate only a few times a year.
PCOS is characterized by two key symptoms: irregular menstrual cycles or absence of periods and hyperandrogenism (excessive production of androgens, most commonly testosterone). Hyperandrogenism can lead to unwanted body and facial hair growth, cystic acne, and increased weight gain.
Unmanaged stress can interfere with menstruation. The stress response, also known as the fight or flight response, triggers the release of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can inhibit the secretion of fertility hormones and disrupt the menstrual cycle. Cutting down on stress can help you regulate your period naturally.
Significantly can impact the menstrual cycle. Both an overactive thyroid and an underactive thyroid can cause reproductive problems. Detecting these irregularities can indicate an improperly functioning endocrine system early. Hyperthyroidism may lead to the absence of a menstrual cycle, while hypothyroidism may result in irregular or heavy cycles. Autoimmune thyroid conditions may also contribute to these problems. Unfortunately, thyroid irregularities are typical among women in Western countries, often going undiagnosed. At Garnet Moon Denver, Denver’s premier Acupuncture and Functional Holistic Medicine Clinic, we specialize in treatment of thyroid problems.
Amenorrhea and Infertility
Amenorrhea refers to the absence of a period that profoundly impacts a woman’s fertility, suggesting that ovulation is not occurring regularly. Successful conception relies on the regular maturation and release of eggs from the ovary.
Garnet Moon Denver Can Help You!
Chinese medicine offers effective treatments for the underlying conditions that disrupt the menstrual cycle. According to Chinese medicine, a healthy menstrual cycle typically lasts around 28 days and occurs every month. The flow is expected to last 4-7 days, with bright red blood of average consistency and flow, free from clots or spotting. We help you regulate your period and hormones naturally.
Studies have shown that herbal medicine can help:
- Regulate menstrual cycles
- Alleviate endometriosis pain
- Thicken an unresponsive endometrium
- Restore normal menstruation in patients with amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea.