Q&A Young Woman with Infrequent
Gabrielle Mathieu is a Licensed Acupuncturist,
with a graduate degree in Oriental Medicine. She has
an undergraduate degree in medical technology and worked
in hospitals as a lab technician for 12 years before
coming to Oriental Medicine. She integrates both medicines
in her Austin Texas practice.
By Gabrielle Matthieu, LAc
I have a concern about my daughter I was hoping you could
help me with. My daughter started her period when she was eleven,
and now she is sixteen. However, her periods have never been regular-
she will go four or six months without having a period. I thought
that eventually her periods would become regular but they haven't.
Also, she has a lack of breast development-of course this could
be the way she is, but do you think that having so few periods
has delayed her breast development? Is there any kind of a natural
supplement that would help regulate her period? I would really
appreciate your help, because this has started to be a concern
for me. Thanks so much.
Traditional Chinese Medicine does deal with gynecology.
From your letter it is difficult to know what the cause of your
daughter's menstrual irregularities are.
You state that she has small breasts, but for inadequate maturation
other signs would be present as well, such as sparse pubic and
axilla hair, and a small stature. If your daughter is brought
to a practitioner, all of her signs and symptoms would be evaluated,
including things that you might consider unrelated.
Delayed maturation can be linked to the Chinese concept of the
Kidney. The Chinese Kidney system can be treated with herbal formulas
and acupuncture, but it is a long process.
On the other hand, it could be that your daughter has a deficiency
of blood and/or "qi", which that moves the blood. Again,
we are using Chinese terms, which are not exactly analogous to
Western terms. The practitioner would then treat your daughter
with tonics to give her more energy. It may also be that your
daughter's irregular cycle does not fit into any Chinese patterns.
In any case, it would also be worthwhile to discuss your concerns
with her family physician, while investigating alternatives as