There are two different types of amenorrhea: Primary and Secondary. Primary is when a female has not received her period as of the age of 16. Secondary is when a period has stopped for 3 months or more.
What causes it?
• Over exercising
• Eating disorders
• Extreme obesity
• Chronic illness
• Some antidepressants.
• Hormone Imbalance (NHS)
• Contraceptive pill, discontinuing the use of this
• Surgical removal of ovaries
• Eating disorders
• Over exercising
• PCOS (polycystic ovarian disease)
• Medication (NHS)
Tests & Treatment:
Levels of LH (Luteinising Hormone) and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and also other endocrine tests are taken. Once established what the cause is treatment can be re balancing the hormone deficiency or it maybe a case of looking at lifestyle choices as per the list above.
Now you know the Western Version, lets look at both acupuncture and fascial manipulation therapy and how they can help this condition.
When a patient presents this condition, they are diagnosed using Traditional Chinese Medicine to discover why and how this has happened. By learning about the patient’s childhood, adolescence and their general wellbeing you can understand that the reason for their amenorrhea is one of the below:
● Hereditary weakness
● Excessive physical work or exercise. (Maciocia)
As you can see, they are very similar to Western Medicine reasons.
In Chinese Medicine there are also certain organs that are key to a female’s reproductive System:
Any problems that are caused by Emotions, Hereditary Weakness etc will cause a dysfunction with some of the above organs. When this happens a period ceases due to
● Qi stagnation
● Blood stasis
● Damp obstructing the uterus
● Yin def
● Qi and blood def of the above organs.
This list means that things are not moving within the body. The period is not coming because its stuck, whether due to not enough Qi moving in that area, damp obstruction of the channel etc. Acupuncture its all about trying to move it in the right direction by re balancing.
If you are unsure what Fascial Manipulation is and would like to fully understand I have made a video which is on my website to help.
Here is a very brief explanation of why working with the fascia is so important in menstruation problems:
Amenorrhea can be linked to either the Superficial or visceral fascia and this will depend upon the nature of the problem. Endocrine problems can be caused due to lack of elasticity of the fascia which therefore interfere with the hormone balance within the body. The thyroid gland, which is situated at the front of your throat has fascia around it and if this is tight or even loose it will cause a problem thus creating a thyroid imbalance. So with this in mind if you now picture the uterus you have the same thing, the fascia can be restricted and therefore cause a dysfunction. This doesn’t happen overnight. Fascia is like a washing line, if you put all your clothes on one end of the line the other side becomes slack. If you damage fascia around the muscles, organs, tendons etc the washing line effect comes into play. Meaning that problems we are experiencing don’t always stem from where you think.
Fascial Manipulation is about finding the root of the problem, solving it for the body to function properly again.
Want to know more?
If you would like to find out how acupuncture or fascial manipulation can help you please get in touch via this page or website.
Sara Packard Dip. Ac, Dip. CFMS, Dip. Sp, Dip Na. MSMA, MBAcC
Acupuncturist, Certified Fascial Manipulation Specialist, Sports Massage Therapist and Naturopath
Amenorrhea. (2018). Available at https://www.stgeorges.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/301_Endocrine_Amenorrhoea.pdf (Accessed 7th November 2018)
Fig 1, Can Stock Photos(2018) Amenorrhea(photograph). Available at https://www.canstockphoto.com/(Accessed 9th November 2018)
Maciocia, G.(1998). Obstetrics and Gynecology in Chinese Medicine: Churchill Livingston. p273-301