Retarded or late menstruation is a menstrual cycle which exceeds 35
days for three consecutive cycles and for which early pregnancy has
been ruled out.
If the menstrual
period is only occasionally late, and there are no other symptoms,
the menstrual cycle is not considered retarded.
The causes of late
menstruation are numerous, but are often related to other issues such
as depression, menopause and hormonal imbalances.
Medicine views late menstruation as being due to a constitutional deficiency,
poor recovery following an illness, a deficiency of qi and blood, a
deficiency of the flush and conception vessels, excess consumption
of cold drinks during the menstrual period, getting soaked in the rain,
or standing in water for long periods of time. In any of these situations,
the result is cold-dampness accumulation in the uterus which presents
as late menstruation.
In TCM, the manifestations
of late menstruation are generally small amounts of dark or light colored
blood, abdominal and lower back pain, a light colored tongue coating,
and a thready pulse.
If there is any
underlying disease, that disease should be treated first as it may
be the ben (origin or root) of abnormal menstruation.