Alternative Medicine That Works for Regular Folks
Updated July 1, 2004





Q&A Young Woman with Infrequent Periods
By Gabrielle Matthieu, LAc

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.


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.

Jean B

Hi Jean,

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 well.

- Gabrielle

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