Updated: Apr 6, 2022
It has probably crossed your mind at least once or twice during your appointment... why does my acupuncturist ask so many detailed questions about the color, content and consistency of my period? I mean, geez, it is already uncomfortable to talk about some of the symptoms like cramping and bloating, PMS and now she wants color details too!
When your acupuncturist asks these questions it is actually a very good thing. She is a health detective looking for tiny, important clues that tell her about the quality of your overall health, the state of your hormones, your stress level, hydration status and even the state of your fertility.
The ideal color is a red similar to the color of a red apple. The flow should be free from clots of any size and last about 3-5 days with minimal to no pain, headaches nor bloating. No pain??? Yes! If you are having healthy periods you really shouldn't notice anything much except that you need a tampon or sanitary napkin. Women are shocked at times to find that their periods become pain-free after regulating their cycle with the help of acupuncture.
If the color is more pale red to pinkish and light in amount, that gives your acupuncturist clues to the state and quality of your menses. This pattern can correspond to an anemic state, spotting, amenorrhea, or nutrient deficiencies and fatigue
When the menses starts, most women will say it starts brownish but then brightens to red the next day. This is normal. It is when it is mostly brown throughout or a dark red or purple color that can cause moderate to severe pain during menses. There are usually clots indicating the blood is stagnant and not circulating properly. There could also be stabbing or prickling pain in the lower abdomen, back or head and even sharp pain into the genitals. Endometriosis, fibroids and endometriomas can present with these menstrual symptoms.
So, the next time your acupuncturist asks details about the color and content of your flow, just know that you are in good hands as she is doing her job as your health detective! With acupuncture and some detailed lifestyle guidance, that 'time of the month' doesn't have to be a dreaded phenomenon to endure.