Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle
The Menstrual Cycle
A woman's cycle begins on the first day that she notices bright red blood and it ends on the day before the next cycle begins. A cycle can take 21 to 35 days. The chart below shows an optimum cycle of 28 days. A cycle length of between 26 to 32 days which when regular, is perfectly normal. It is also normal for the occasional disruption to the cycle due to illness or stress. Therefore the cycle may lengthen or shorten by a few days. A cycle that is always irregular suggests a problem as does pain, spotting, severe PMT symptoms and anything other than a smooth, fresh, clot-free bleed.
The acupuncturist will treat according to your Chinese medicine diagnosis with modifications which are made depending on which part of the cycle you are in. The ‘nutritive’ Yin phase or follicular phase is all about egg development and preparation of the womb lining. The ‘active’ Yang or luteal phase is about the egg release and maintaining progesterone levels. Where necessary treatment will be carefully timed to coincide with the part of the cycle that needs attention.
Gemma (30) decided to try acupuncture treatment for morning sickness after everything else failed. 'I was starting to get worried. My first two pregnancies had been comfortable.. From the moment I woke up I felt nauseous, and could barely hold even a glass of water down.'
Gemma had read about the use of acupuncture for feeling nauseous in a childbirth book. 'It wasn't magic,' she said, 'it took three or four sessions to get to the point where I didn't feel sick all the time, and my acupuncturist was very careful because I was pregnant. There's no doubt it helped, though, and it seemed to help me to keep calm as well. A little girl, in case you wondered!'