Menstrual irregularities occur in 14% to 25% of women of childbearing age. On top of this, nearly 80% of women experience pain during their period at some point in their life. These statistics have many women wondering how they can help the pain and irregularities they experience.
If you haven’t considered acupuncture, then it’s time to start. Read on to discover how acupuncture can help to support your menstrual health.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of natural medicine where a licensed professional will insert tiny needles into specific parts of your body to treat pain. Acupuncture is also used to reduce stress and anxiety in patients.
This practice stimulates nerves, muscles, and connective tissues, and as a result, it boosts your body’s natural painkillers.
Acupuncture Throughout the Menstrual Cycle
When it comes to women’s health, it is important to understand the phases of the menstrual cycle and how acupuncture can help with each one. This is how the practice of acupuncture can support you through each stage.
Phase 1: Menstruation
The first day of bleeding is the first day of your menstrual phase. During this phase, you have lower levels of the hormone progesterone, which causes your uterine lining to shed for 4 to 7 days.
During this time, you may experience low energy and pelvic cramping. It is recommended to get plenty of rest and complete light exercise during this phase.
Acupuncture during this phase can help to get blood moving to the uterus to ensure that your endometrial lining is fully shed. This may help to reduce pain from cramping.
Phase 2: Follicular
After your menstruation phase, your body will enter the follicular phase. During this phase, you release a hormone called Follicle Stimulating Hormone. The production of this hormone encourages the eggs in your ovaries to grow and get ready for ovulation.
Because your estrogen and testosterone rise during this stage, many women experience higher energy and a happier mood.
Acupuncture treatment during this phase can help with egg growth and maturation by improving uterine and ovarian blood flow and aiding in the development of ovarian follicles. This can set you up for success during the next phase and is especially helpful if you are trying to conceive.
Phase 3: Ovulation
Ovulation is the phase in which your egg gets released from its follicle in your ovary. After it is released, it will survive for 12-24 hours.
Some women experience ovulation pain or bleeding around this time. Aside from this pain, you will likely feel more confident and energized as your estrogen and testosterone levels are at their highest.
Acupuncture during this phase may be helpful if you are trying to conceive. It can help to both mature the egg and release it on time.
Phase 4: Luteal Phase
After ovulation, you enter the luteal phase. During this phase, your estrogen and testosterone levels decrease and your body starts producing progesterone.
When your body is in the luteal phase, you may experience PMS symptoms such as anxiety, headaches, food cravings, and bloating. Your energy may also start to decrease again as your estrogen and testosterone levels are lowered.
If you are trying to conceive, then acupuncture during this stage can assist in embryo implantation. If not, then it can help to relieve the emotional and physical symptoms of PMS.
Acupuncture During Menopause
While acupuncture can be helpful during the menstrual cycle, it can also be useful when you aren’t experiencing it anymore. Menopause can cause many uncomfortable symptoms such as anxiety, hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia. These symptoms are generally brought on by stress and hormonal changes.
Acupuncture can work to regulate your hormones, which will in turn reduce your stress and anxiety and promote better rest. It has also been shown that acupuncture reduces hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.
Acupuncture and Endometriosis
Many women experience intense pelvic pain and other symptoms due to endometriosis. There is no known cure for endometriosis, so it is important to relieve symptoms in the way that works best for you. Many women turn to painkillers, but this is not always a sustainable and preferable approach.
If you experience pain from endometriosis and want to take a functional medicine approach, then acupuncture may be for you. Acupuncture can help to fire up your body’s natural painkillers and relieve some of the pain you may be experiencing.
Acupuncture and Fertility
If you are struggling to conceive, then you are likely experiencing stress and anxiety about the situation. This anxiety can manifest itself in many physical and mental symptoms that can make it even more difficult to conceive.
Undergoing acupuncture treatment can help to improve your blood flow and lessen your stress, making your body a better environment to grow and house a child.
Acupuncture and Irregular Menstrual Cycles
If you experience irregular periods, then you may want to try acupuncture. Irregular menses occurs when your hormones are unbalanced due to health issues, stress, anxiety, and more. Acupuncture can help to balance estrogen, testosterone, FSH, and AMH levels.
Once you even out these hormones and reduce stress in your life, your period should return to normal. Acupuncture paired with a healthy diet, healthy lifestyle, and reduced stress can help your period to return to normal.
Schedule an Appointment at Fairbanks Family Wellness Today
If you are experiencing any issues surrounding your menstrual health or fertility and are thinking about acupuncture, then feel free to give us a call. We will help to create a personalized treatment plan that will support your specific needs and goals.