There are four main phases of the menstrual cycle – 1. period (days 1-7), 2. post period (end of period to ovulation), 3. ovulation (ideally 14 days before menstruation) and 4. post ovulation (from ovulation to menstruation). Each of these phases has an important role in fertility.
In Chinese medicine, we see the first 14 days as the Yin phase of the cycle and the second 14 days (from ovulation to menstruation) as the Yang phase of the cycle. Yin is the nourishing part of the cycle where the body is working to build blood, strengthen follicles, build a healthy endometrium and increase cervical mucous. It’s all about preparing the body for pregnancy. After ovulation, The Yang phase is all about movement and energy, to move the egg through the fallopian tubes unobstructed, to increase energy required to begin the growth of a fetus if pregnant or to move blood freely at menstruation.
For an ideal environment for pregnancy, the menstrual cycle should consistently be between 28 and 32 days. We use acupuncture and herbs to move your body’s natural rhythm as close to this is we can to ensure each phase of the cycle is working together. As you can see from the image below (taken from Jane Lyttelton’s book – Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine), throughout each phase, there is a different focus on treatment.
During the period, we aim to move all blood from the uterus to prepare the endometrium with fresh blood and tissue for the next month.
In the post period phase, we aim to build Blood and fill the uterus with blood to improve egg quality.
At ovulation, we use acupuncture to unblock any energy stagnation so we can encourage a smooth pathway for the egg to travel down fallopian tubes.
At post ovulation, we then focus on improving Yang energy to help the beginning stage of pregnancy.
If you are having difficulty falling pregnant, there may be a problem with one or more of these phases, but with acupuncture and herbs, we can look at getting your menstrual cycle back on track.