Prolonged Menstruation

Prolonged Menstruation

Prolonged menstruation is a period that lasts 7 days or more. With prolonged menstruation,  it is difficult to keep up with usual activities. 

(Menorrhagia is the medical term for menstrual periods with abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding. Sometimes there is so much blood loss and cramping, and you dread your period because you have such heavy bleeding.)

In Western Medicine diagnosis is based on “diagnosing an illness”, but in Chinese Medicine, the whole human is diagnosed in addition to the signs and symptoms experienced, and the method used to diagnose is called a “pattern of disharmonies.” Several patterns can be present simultaneously, and the diagnosis should be done by a licensed acupuncturist. Self diagnosing is usually not as effective. Because of the individual irregularities in the pattern of disharmonies, the herbal medicine formula prescriptions usually have to be changed in some way. Sometimes an herb or two has to be removed, and other times, different herbs have to be added into the herbal medicine formula.

There are a number of “patterns of disharmonies” that can cause prolonged menstruation and some are listed below. 

Seek help for best results.

Prolonged Menstruation possible patterns of disharmonies:

Spleen Qi Deficiency ( Not governing Blood)

Possible Symptoms ( in addition to period lasting 7 days or more) (Not all symptoms necessary)

  • Sallow or pale complexion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Limbs feel tired and heavy
  • Physical and mental exhaustion
  • Abdominal bloating after eating
  • Acid regurgitation (sometimes)
  • Vomiting (rare)
  • Loose or unformed stools
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Sallow complexion
  • Fatigue
  • T: Pale and flabby – may have teeth marks
  • C: White
  • P: Even, forceless and Deficiency


  • Gui Pi Tang
  • Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang modified
  • Gui Pi Tang + Jiao Ai Tang
  • Ju Yuan Jian  modified

Yin Deficiency and Heat in The Blood

Possible Symptoms ( in addition to period lasting 7 days or more) (Not all symptoms necessary)

  • Early menstrual period (short cycle, less than 24 day cycle)
  • Discharge of a small amount of thick, bright red Blood
  • Heavy flow
  • Mid cycle bleeding (spotting)
  • Bloody vaginal discharge
  • Discharge begins with scant light-colored Blood
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Flushed cheeks
  • Tinnitus
  • Heartburn
  • Thirst
  • Heat sensation on palms of hands, feet, or at sternum
  • Night sweats
  • Weak and sore lower back,  and/or knees
  • Weakness of the legs
  • Dry mouth and/or  throat
  • Insomnia
  • Lots of dreams at night
  • Prematurely gray hair
  • Premature hair loss
  • A bitter taste in the mouth
  • T: Red or Crimson or Red and dry
  • C: Little or None
  • P: Thready and rapid or Deep, small and weak


  • Liang Di Tang + Er Zhi Wan

Blood Stagnation + Blood Deficiency:

Possible Symptoms ( in addition to period lasting 7 days or more) (Not all symptoms necessary)

  • Copious bleeding, dark or purplish blood
  • May or may not have clots
  • Menstrual cycle is shortened (early menstruation, less than 24 days)
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Pale, lusterless complexion
  • Pale nails
  • Abdominal pain
  • Irregular menstruation with little flow
  • Fixed lower abdominal pain
  • Vertigo
  • Tinnitus
  • Pale lips
  • May be amenorrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Menstruation may also be accompanied by distention and pain
  • T: Pale
  • C: Normal
  • P: Thin and weak or Thin and choppy


  • Tao Hong Si Wu Tang
  • Zong Pu San
  • WIth abdominal pain: ADD: Shi Xiao San

Blood heat in the Chong Ren:

Possible Symptoms ( in addition to period lasting 7 days or more) (Not all symptoms necessary)

  • Continuous menstruation 
  • Uterine bleeding that alternates between spotting and gushing
  • The Blood is very red, thick and sticky and may contain dark-purple clots
  • A sensation of Heat and irritability in the chest
  • Menstruation may be delayed
  • Dry mouth
  • Leukorrhea
  • Painful urination
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Red urine
  • Red face
  • Constipation, or dry stools
  • T: Red
  • C: Normal or Yellow
  • P: Wiry or Wiry and rapid or Tight and rapid or Slippery and rapid


  • Gu Jing Wan

Damp Heat with Heat in the Blood:

Possible Symptoms ( in addition to period lasting 7 days or more) (Not all symptoms necessary)

  • Pain in low back and/or  knees
  • Weakness of legs
  • Scanty yellow urine
  • Red, hot, swollen and/or  painful feet or knees
  • Edema in lower legs
  • Eczema
  • Painful and/or  swollen feet
  • Pain and swelling of the joints
  • Leukorrhea (thick, yellow and smelly)
  • Sores on legs
  • Numbness and weakness in legs
  • T: Normal
  • C: Yellow and greasy
  • P: Soft and rapid


  • Si Miao Wan (Modify)
Photo by Wellington Cunha

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