The natural cessation of natural menstrual cycle
By Dr. Nutan Pakhare
Menopause is a natural cessation of monthly menstrual cycle. This is a marker of end from fertile age.
Me + No + Pause – keep moving spiritually & start new chapter of your life
At what age could Menopause happen?
Ayurveda has termed this period as Rajonivritti-kala. This period is dominated by “Vata
Dosha” with vitiated state of Pitta and Kapha Doshas. It usually happens between 50 and 55 years in Asian women. The changes may starts after mid-40. The actual age depends on genetics & individual lifestyle. Ayurveda has quoted two types kaal.They are –
- Kalaj. Natural degeneration in structure and function of reproductive organs LEADING TO MENOPAUSE AROUND around the average age of 50.
- Akalaj. Menopause occurs before the age of 50
Menopause is associated with reduction of formation of new dhatus (Dhatukshay) & falling in level of Artav/raj (rajonovrittti) in female body. Therefore, Acharya Sushrut prescribed Rasayana for the healthcare of women.
According to modern science when a menstrual cycle stops for more 12 months then a women is supposed to attain menopause. It may occur due to hysterectomy (removal of uterus) or oophorectomy (removal of ovary) or both.
Significance of Menopause – Menopause is not a disease or a disorder. It is just a cessation of
the monthly periods and not the end of life. Women need to be made aware of and educated about this natural phenomenon. There are three stages of menopause.
1. Perimenopause – period before onset of menopause.
2. Menopause- Period of actual cessation of menstruation. 3. Post menopauses- One year after menopause.
Signs and Symptoms – While every woman has a different body constitution, there are some common signs and symptoms during menopause. It is important to be aware of these signs so that anxiety and stress can be avoided.
Physical and Psychological –
- Hot flushes – Burning sensation in face, neck chest, and genital region which occurs due to the high level of FSH and LH. This happens due to dilatation of vessels in peripheral circulation.
- Insomnia and night sweats – This happens due to low level of estrogen and melatonin
which are sleep promoting hormones in women.
- Irregular menstruation – The periods can become irregular, scanty & poor flow which
slowly turns into complete cessation of the menstrual period.
- Painful intercourse ((dyspareunia) – This happens due to dryness of vagina (Atrophy
changes) because of reduced secretion of fluids by vaginal glands.
- Dry skin –: This happens due to loss of elasticity of skin & loss of muscle tone.
- Urinary incontinence –There can be leakage of urine while coughing, sneezing, laughing,
and jumping or exercising. This happen due to weakness of pelvic floor muscles & may need pelvic floor therapy (kegal exertion).
- Lack of appetite and Indigestion –: This happen due to decrease in intestinal motility.
- Obesity – There is tendency to gain weight after menopause more on thighs, buttocks and
- Uterine & bladder prolapse – Pelvic organs like uterus, bladder & rectum may prolapse
out from the vaginal opening, due loss of tone in pelvic muscles.
- Excessive hair growth on face & body (Hirsutism) – This happens due to high level of androgen.
- Joint and Muscular pain –: Woman experiences body ache & weakness due to deficiency of Vitamin D and calcium. It can lead to osteoporosis & fracture also.
- Risk of cardiovascular diseases – A risk of cardiovascular disease increases after menopause. And a woman may feel palpitation, high blood pressure. Difficulty in breathing can happen due to underline anemia, vitamin deficiency & muscle weakness.
- Low Libido – There is a reduction in sex drive due to low androgen level.
- Emotional upheavals – Mood swings, anxiety, and stress, depression, irritation, and lethargy, can affect quality of life. This happens due to decreased level of endorphins, many
times there is fear of death, suicidal tendency & feeling of loneliness.
- Intellectual & cognitive -: Often there is Forgetfulness & short term memory loss.
This period may last for one year of during perimenopause.
Role of Ayurveda in menopause
Ayurveda and Yoga have a holistic approach towards
caring for human beings. It teaches accepting self as it is and guide to develop a positive attitude with certain training. This avoids women to get in to ageism disease. These ancient sciences have a wide range of therapies for prevention and curing remedies. They can assist a woman to overcome any obstacles during her menopausal period.
There are rejuvenation therapies in Ayurveda texts such as Abhyanga and Pottali (complete body massage), Nasya (nasal oil drops to stimulate nervous system), Panchakarma (elimination of toxins and rejuvenation), Kati Basti (back massage), Padabhyanga, Shirodhara and Shiroabhyanga
In Ayurveda, Basti Chikitsa is one of the important Panchkarma. This helps to re-establish the imbalance state of Vata Dosha and also helps to correct other Dosha functions too. Also Rasayana like Shatavari, chyawanprash are helpful
Please note that the above therapies should be taken under an expert guidance.