Having menstrual cycles that are painless, unremarkable and free of emotional drama can almost be considered a myth these days!

However, this is exactly what women should expect to experience each month if their hormones are in balance!
Unfortunately, menstrual irregularities can present in different ways, leading to a variety of problematic symptoms that can take place before, during or after the period.

PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)

It can be normal to experience a variety of mild PMS symptoms for 1-2 days before your period. However, when symptoms become increasingly aggressive in intensity and duration, it is important to look into underlying factors that are causing your hormones to be out of balance.

Common PMS symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Acne
  • Breast tenderness
  • Cramps
  • Mood changes (ie. irritability, depression)
  • Bowel changes
    (ie. constipation)
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling

  • Brain fog, memory & concentration difficulties
  • Headaches
  • Hair loss
  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia
  • Food cravings
  • Changes in libido
  • Yeast infections


Irregular Periods:

A normal menstrual cycle is typically about 28 days, give or take about 7 days. Periods are considered irregular when they occur earlier or later than expected, skip, or if the length of the cycle is significantly different each month.

Stress () is often one of the leading causes of irregular periods, as it can lead to changes in hormone production and can also affect your thyroid function.

Irregularities in Menstrual Flow & Quality:

Irregularities in the amount and quality of periods can also indicate underlying imbalances, and can be very stressful for women.

Dysmenorrhea describes anything painful during a period that interferes with your ability to function. It encompasses anything from menstrual cramps to lower back pain, dragging or painful sensation in the inner thighs, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dizziness.

Menorrhagia occurs when the menstrual flow is significantly heavy (ie. soaking through one or more pads every hour) or lasts for a prolonged time (7+ days), and can involve the passing of large clots. The amount of blood loss can cause much fatigue, to the degree where it can be difficult to function!

Oligomenorrhea occurs when the volume of menstrual flow is too light.

Amenorrhea occurs when there is an absence of periods for a prolonged length of time. While this may seem like a dream come true, it can be a serious symptom of underlying imbalances, premature menopause, chronic stress, low body fat or weight, and malnutrition.

Underlying root causes of menstrual irregularities:

  • Hormone imbalances
  • “OAT-Axis” dysfunction (Ovary-Adrenal-Thyroid axis)
  • High sugar, caffeine, dairy, alcohol or salt intake
  • Food sensitivities
  • Stress & overwork (adrenal gland imbalance)
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Nutrient deficiencies
    (ie. healthy fats, magnesium, B vitamins, fibre, etc.)
  • Suboptimal liver & detoxification
  • Liver Qi (energy) stagnation (TCM / Chinese medicine perspective)
  • PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
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How do Naturopathic Doctors treat menstrual irregularities?

There is A LOT that we can do to improve menstrual irregularities! The conventional method is to recommend birth control pills as medication to alter hormones in the body. While this may help relieve some symptoms, it does not treat the root cause.

It is important to determine what is out of balance, and treat the underlying factors discussed above. Naturopathic Doctors like Dr. Tam utilize a variety of natural and effective tools including acupuncture, herbs, homeopathy, diet and lifestyle modification to resolve the cause of your symptoms. She can help determine what will be most effective for you and help accelerate your progress.

Restore balance and rhythm to your cycle!

Contact us to find out how we can help!