WHAT and WHY ?
Amenorrhea is the absence of a menstrual period in a woman of reproductive age- can be primary or secondary.. important distinction to be made.
Infertility is the inability to become pregnant after one year of trying - fairly common and experienced by 15% of couples.
According to Chinese medicine theory these syndrome are caused by either an excess or deficiency.
excess conditions include stagnant qi and blood or phlegm damp.
stagnant qi and blood often relates to emotional stagnation, lack of exercise, poor posture, trauma or surgery.
Phlegm damp can relate to the tendency of some women with spleen constitutional type to develop phlegm that can cause blockage in the fallopian tubes or somewhere along the reproductive process..
Deficiency conditions include deficient kidney, deficient blood and qi, deficient blood and jing. Some women have constitutionally weak kidney qi and so have trouble conceiving as kidney energy is a vital ingredient in conception. This weakness is often exacerbated by overwork, lack of sleep or excessive exercise. It’s important to recognize the needs of the body at this time to strengthen the kidney energy. Some women become deficient in blood and jing after childbirth or due to illness or strain. Still others may become qi and blood deficient due to malnutrition as in extreme dieting or anorexia.
Menstruation and conception may be affected by emotional stresses.
Consider the yin organs- liver, kidneys, lungs, heart and spleen. Each organ is affected most by a specific emotion and ultimately each organ effects every other organ as they are interdependent and interrelated. An emotional blockage in one area can cause physical manifestations in any of the organs. Chinese medicine attributes different functions to the organs specifically in the way the body is nourished and supported and in the ways qi and blood flow smoothly through the body so organ health as it relates to emotion is paramount to realize physical health.
stagnation of liver qi can lead to depression, frustration and suppressed anger. It is also related to the resentment of femininity and resistance of the physiological and psychological changes of adults sexuality. These emotional barriers actally manifest physically and can lead to amenorrhea and infertility.
Many women experience fear around change and the developmental stages of puberty, pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. Fear of the unknown, fear of pain, fear of death and fear of responsibility in any of these stages causes qi stagnation leading to the body’s inability to move naturally in the direction of development and growth.
The emotions of the lungs are grief and fear of loss. Some women get stuck in the past, trying to stop time, or are unwilling to let go of old relationships and fully immerse themselves in new ones. This stagnation of Lung qi can lead to amenorrhea and infertility.
There may be an attempt to block love, life and sexuality due to some stresses whether they be within a relationship with another or with oneself. A woman may have mixed feelings about conception- one part of her wants to conceive, another part doesnt want at this time or maybe with this man.. internal struggles play a huge role in the emotional allowance for the body to conceive.
Woman who may not have had a warm, stable and caring relationship with their own mothers may feel an emptiness and a lack of support which hinders their own ability to conceive as they may harbor feelings consciously or subconsciously that they will be the same way with their own daughters. In this case, letting go of the past and establishing a solid and secure earth element is essential to be able to nourish and provide for the next generation.
Treatment will be tailored to your condition and pattern and address physiological as well as emotional patterns as they relate to amenorrhea and infertility. When dealing with qi stagnation conditions, treatment is recommended once per week to strongly move qi. If conception is being attempted at the same time, strong qi moving treatments are done only after menstruation has occurred in order to respect a possible conception. After ovulation, treatment to nourish and secure is advised. Gentle tonifying treatments can be given throughout the cycle to support each phase.