Female Hormone Imbalance: There is Hope With Traditional Chinese Medicine

Many women suffer with hormonal imbalance and don’t realize it can actually be treated. I repeatedly hear from women that a doctor says nothing can be done, or that their mild suffering is ‘normal’. I’m hoping to demonstrate how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) looks at health differently and actually distinguishes between many different hormonal imbalances that western medicine generally over looks.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we regard the various organ systems as vital in overall health. The heart, liver, spleen and kidney are especially important in female hormone balance. We also focus on the blood and Qi (energy) to be strong and proper balance between Yin and Yang.

Below is a list of various common conditions we see in women, and their respective TCM diagnoses.

Menstrual Cycle Irregularities

Figure 1: TCM and acupuncture can be used to address a number of menstrual irregularities.

  • Periods always early: Heat in the Blood or Qi deficiency
  • Periods always late: Blood deficiency or stagnation of Blood or Cold
  • Periods irregular: stagnation of Liver-Qi or Liver Blood, or Spleen deficiency

 Amount

  • Heavy blood loss: Heat in the Blood or Qi deficiency
  • Scanty periods: Blood deficiency. Stagnation of Blood or Cold

Colour

  • Dark red or bright red: Heat in the Blood
  • Pale: Blood deficiency
  • Purple or blackish: stasis of Blood or Cold
  • Fresh red: Empty-Heat from Yin deficiency

Quality

  • Congealed blood with clots: stasis of Blood or Cold
  • Watery blood: Blood or Yin deficiency
  • Turbid blood: Blood-Heat or stagnation of Cold

Pain

  • Pain before the periods: stagnation of Qi or Blood
  • Pain during the periods: Blood-Heat, stagnation of Cold or Blood stasis
  • Pain after the periods: Blood deficiency

 

Discharge

Colour

  • White discharge: Cold from Spleen or Kidney Yang deficiency, exterior Cold-Damp, or stagnation of Liver-Qi
  • Yellow discharge: Heat, usually Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner
  • Greenish discharge: Damp-Heat in the Liver channel
  • Red and white discharge: Damp-Heat
  • Yellow discharge with pus and blood in a woman after menopause: Toxic Damp-Heat in the Uterus

Consistency

  • Watery: Cold-Damp
  • Thick: Damp-Heat

Smell

  • Fishy smell: Damp-Cold
  • Leathery smell: Damp-Heat

Pregnancy

Fig 2: TCM and Acupuncture can be used during all stages of pregnancy.

  • Infertility: Blood or Kidney-Essence deficiency, or Damp-Heat in the Lower Burner or stasis of Blood in the Uterus
  • Vomiting during pregnancy: Stomach and Penetrating Vessel deficiency
  • Miscarriage before 3 months: Blood or Essence deficiency. Kidney deficiency
  • Miscarriage after 3 months: Liver-Blood stasis or sinking of Spleen-Qi

Childbirth

Figure 3: TCM and Acupuncture can be helpful after the baby is born.

  • Nausea and heavy bleeding after delivery: exhaustion of the Penetrating Vessel
  • Sweating and fever after delivery: exhaustion of Qi and Blood
  • Postnatal depression: usually Blood deficiency leading to Heart-Blood deficiency

 

The point of this article is not for you to completely understand the TCM diagnoses. My goal here was to show you that TCM can actually identify where there is room for improvement and we can attempt to treat these things.

Booking in with a naturopath or TCM practitioner will give you an opportunity to discuss your case. A comprehensive intake is required to fully understand your current state of health and goals. With all the information, the naturopath or TCM practitioner will make an Asian medicine diagnosis and build an acupuncture protocol accordingly.

About the Author

picture of me, johann de chickera, naturopathic doctor

I'm Johann de Chickera, a Naturopathic Doctor, practicing in Ontario, Canada. My clinical practice relies on keeping up with the most up-to-date research and continued education. This blog serves as a way to provide others with a compilation of everything I've learned along the way.

If you'd like to see me in practice, please click the Appointments tab at the top of this page. 

 

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