The word "menopause" literally means the "end of monthly cycles". Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her reproductive phase ends. Her body starts producing lesser amounts of estrogen and progesterone hormones. The symptoms of menopause experienced by some women are often similar to the symptoms of increased ‘Vata’ dosha .It upsets the normal equilibrium of the body physically as well as mentally. The duration of the flow may be considerably shorter or longer than normal, and the flow itself may be significantly heavier or lighter, including sometimes long episodes of spotting. Some women may have two weeks cycle. Further, it is common to skip periods for months at a time, and these skipped periods may be followed by a heavier period. The number of skipped periods in a row often increases as the time of last period approaches. When a woman of menopausal age has had no periods or spotting for 12 months she is considered to be one year into post-menopause.
Features of Menopause
• Hot flushes.
• Migraine (Headache)
• Dryness of skin
• Watery discharge from the genital parts
• Weak & fragile bones (Osteoporosis), which leads to fractures.
• Decrease in breast tissue mass (Breast atrophy)
• Itching, tingling or burning sensations, or sensation / feeling of ants
crawling on or under the skin.
• Dryness of vagina
• Problems reaching orgasm
• Painful intercourse
• Urinary Tract infection.
• Joints & Muscle pain
• Mood disturbance.
• Memory loss, and problems with concentration.
• Depression or anxiety at times suicidal tendencies.
• Poor quality sleep, (light sleep).
• Unexplained fatigue.
• Loss of memory.
The timing of the flow becomes unpredictable. In addition the duration of the flow may be considerably shorter or longer than normal, and the flow itself may be significantly heavier or lighter than the previous time. Sometime it is common to have 2-week cycles. Further more it is common to skip periods for months at a time, and these skipped periods may be followed by a heavier period. The number of skipped periods often increases as the time of last period approaches. When a woman of menopausal age does not have periods or spotting for 12 months she is considered to be one year into post-menopause.
Ayurvedic Management: According to Ayurvedic system of medicine, the type of treatment depends upon the ‘dosha’ in which the woman's menopausal sign / symptoms are manifesting. This suggests that each type of menopause needs different treatments. However, there still exist some common sign /symptoms of menopause which has the common remedies as well. By moderating our diet & life style one can lead a healthy and prosperous life.
Diet & Nutritional supplements
1. Eat fruits and vegetables in a sufficient amount.
2. Consume enough fiber: Take foods high in fiber such as whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice etc.
3. Drink plenty of water: 6 to 8 Glasses of Water / Liquids daily are necessary to maintain good health.
4. Get enough calcium: Calcium is found in dairy products such as milk, curd etc., fish, canned salmon, broccoli, and legumes etc.
5. Increase your iron intake: Iron is found in red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts etc,
6. Maintain your weight: It should be according to your height.
7. Avoid Fats & oils: Saturated fat raises cholesterol and increases your risk of heart disease such as angina pains and heart
attacks. Avoid fatty meats, whole milk, ice cream, and cheese.
8. Use Low amount of salt & sugar: Too much salt raises the Blood Pressure of a healthy person beyond normal limits.. Similarly
more sugar leads to ‘Obesity’ the mother of many diseases.
9. Limit alcohol intake: Women should limit the intake of alcohol to 60 - 120 ml only.
10. Vitamin D: Helps to check the Osteoporosis (Weak & Fragile Bones)
With proper guidance from your Doctor and by adopting healthy lifestyle, one can easily avoid most of the unpleasant side effects of menopause. Various Ayurvedic herbs which are phytoestrogens (Soy, Legumes etc.) can be used during the period, which can help a great deal in strengthening and rejuvenating the female reproductive system and the body immune system as well. In addition, the Ayurvedic herbs can regulate the hormones and calm the unpleasant emotions.
Herbs: Aloe vera (Pulp), Shatavari, Saffron, Kapikacchu (Seed), and Ashwagandha. These herbs, if taken in a powdered singly or in combination with milk can relieve the symptoms to a great extent.
1. M.D. Scholar, Shareer Kriya Vibhag,
2. Lecturer, Shareer Kriya Vibhag,
3. Prof. & Head, Shareer Kriya Vibhag,
National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur (Raj.)