When hormone levels produced by the interaction of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and the ovaries become unbalanced, irregular periods or even complete cessation of menstruation can occur.
Some common causes are:
- Poor diet (it has long been known that extreme dietary restriction can cause amenorrhea).low body weight
- anorexia or bulimia
- intense exercise or endurance training
- stress on the body, which can include emotional swings, illness, or travel
- birth control medication, and other medications
- Perimenopause (close to menopause) / Menopause
- hormone imbalances, including thyroid issues
- use of illegal drugs
- PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
- Pelvic infection
- Uterine polyps
- Uterine cancer / Uterine abnormalities
- Dysfunctional bleeding
- breast feeding – often a period will not return until breast feeding is complete
Amenorrhea is a symptom, not a problem in itself. Because there are so many disorders that can lead to or cause a loss of period, it is important to have medical tests to determine if Western medicine is the appropriate approach to relieve the condition.
How Acupuncture Can Help
Hormonal imbalances, stress, anxiety, and weight problems (which usually involves stress and anxiety) are common causes of amenorrhea that respond well to acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture accomplishes this by increasing blood flow to all organs, especially those associated with reproduction. As a result, the organs receive proper levels of oxygen and nutrients, and hormones flow easily throughout the body.
At the same time, energy flows (known as “Qi” in Chinese medicine) are balanced throughout the body, and blockages are released, thereby promoting healing and nourishing of the body.
With acupuncture, the return of regular periods happens naturally and without side effects, utilizing the body’s own healing powers
Partners in Restoring Regular Periods
Loss of periods can be the result of multiple causations, very often including those that respond well to acupuncture treatments. Whatever the medical test findings are, an acupuncturist should be consulted to review the results in order to determine whether acupuncture is an appropriate primary treatment, or if acupuncture can improve the effectiveness of any recommended Western medical treatments for amenorrhea.
Mo X, Li D, Pu Y, et al. Clinical studies on the mechanism for acupuncture stimulation of ovulation. J Tradit Chin Med 1993;13:115–9.
Yu J, Zheng HM, Ping SM. Changes in serum FSH, LH and ovarian follicular growth during electroacupuncture for induction of ovulation.Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih 1989;9:199–202,195 [in Chinese]