Irregular cycle is a common occurrence in women. The period may be up to one month early or late, and the bleeding may vary in amount, quality and pain levels. From a conventional medical perspective, an irregular cycle often means that hormones are not balanced. An irregular cycle can be due to various reasons. For example, when women are under considerable stress or have lost a lot of weight their cycle may become irregular. On the other hand, an irregular cycle can be a sign of specific diseases, such as PCOS or premature ovarian failure. Irregular cycles are also commonly due to cysts, which frequently occur after fertility treatment.
As an irregular cycle is often associated with failure to ovulate, it is very important to work out what is going on in a woman’s body to cause this symptom and how to rectify it. This means particular attention is paid to all four stages of the menstrual cycle: first the menstruation itself, then the follicular phase, the ovulation and then the luteal phase. When all four phases are functioning well a regular cycle is established and fertility is maximized in the reproductive age. Both acupuncture and herbal medicine can be used effectively to regulate the cycle. Life-style advice may also be necessary.