When trying to get pregnant, it can be surprising how much there is to learn about your menstrual cycle, fertility, and ovulation that you didn’t know about beforehand. And it may be the first time you ask yourself: Is my period normal?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), if your period arrives earlier than expected, it is considered that the heat is causing reckless movement of your blood and the Qi is unable to govern that blood you need to expel. On the other hand, if your period arrives later than your date, this may be an indication of blood deficiency or blood stagnation.
In addition to flow irregularities, menstrual blood can run the spectrum of hues, from watery pink, crimson red, bright red, dark red and even dark purplish red. TCM fertility physicians in Singapore may remind their patients that for a woman, menstrual blood can be an important gauge for their health and fertility.
So What Can Your Period Colour Mean for Your Fertility and Health?
In TCM, the blood is the basis of a woman’s makeup hence the colour of the period can be used as a guide for fertility. On average, the cycle length is between 28 to 35 days and the flow should require roughly 1 regular pad every 3 to 4 hours. Also, the colour of the blood should ideally be crimson red. During your period, you are not only losing blood, but you are also shedding your endometrium lining, so it is normal to see some small pea-sized blood clots as well.
Pale Red or Pink
You need enough density of red blood cells to make healthy blood. If your menstrual blood is watery or pink, you may have difficulty making enough red blood cells or they may not contain enough iron. Common causes of pale blood include being anaemic, eating an imbalanced diet, or poor digestion/absorption of nutrients.
From a TCM perspective, pale red blood with watery consistency usually comes from a deficiency in Spleen Qi. As the Spleen’s job is to turn nutrients from food into Qi and blood, a weak Spleen will be unable to produce enough blood for a proper period. TCM fertility treatment can assist to nourish and tonify the blood to ensure the endometrial lining is thick and blood-rich in order for embryo implantation to take place for a successful pregnancy.
Don’t be alarmed if you find yourself spotting pale red blood for 1 or 2 days during mid-cycle. This may just be an implantation bleeding. There is no need to worry unless the bleeding becomes heavier or if it is accompanied by cramps.
If your menstrual blood is bright red your body temperature may be affecting the quality of the blood. If your basal body temperatures are too high in the early part of your cycle (above 36.6 °C), your blood will have a tendency to be brighter than normal. This may be accompanied by feeling thirsty, sore throat, yellow vaginal discharge or pelvic pain. High body temperature also interrupts the timing of ovulation, which negatively affects your fertility.
Conversely, if your basal body temperatures are too low, your menstrual blood can take on a darker red colour. Low body temperatures can cause sluggishness in the uterine blood circulation and contraction of uterine smooth muscles hence you may experience cramps or have more blood clots. This can also be due to Liver Qi stagnation, where the smooth flow of Qi is impeded. In such cases, you may have symptoms such as PMS, breast tenderness, irritability and the tendency to get stressed easily. TCM can help to activate the Qi and blood flow, warm the meridians and dispel the cold to increase the chances of fertility.
Dark Purplish Red
In some cases, the blood may present as dark purplish red and usually come with large clots, intense, sharp, stabbing cramps and heavy flow. This can be seen in women with a history of fibroids and endometriosis. Women with very dark menstrual blood may have difficulties with fertility and conceiving, and may also put the mother at a greater risk for clotting problems that can affect the placenta in pregnancy.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can Help
Although acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine have become more popular and accepted in modern time, it has been around approximately 3,500 years and is one of the widely recognised forms of alternative medicine used worldwide.
Acupuncture helps fertility by balancing the energy within the body. Both acupuncture and Chinese herbs are utilised to preserve health, prevent illness and rebuild vitality to the body. The belief in TCM is that all the organs in our body are interrelated to one another and are connected internally and externally.
Depending on where you fall in the colour spectrum, you’ll be able to understand your body better and allow the TCM physicians to prescribe necessary treatments specific to your fertility concerns. Taking an informed look at the colour of your menstrual blood is one of the first steps towards healthy fertility.
Thomson Chinese Medicine is a TCM clinic in Singapore that is a member of the Thomson Medical Group. For menstrual and fertility concerns, schedule an appointment with us today.