The menopause is the normal milestone in a woman's life, marking the end
of the reproductive period. It generally has its onset between the age of
40-55 years and is marked by the gradual decrease in the menstrual flow
till it completely stops.
The menopausal period brings a lot of changes in a woman's life. This
mainly happens due to the gradual reduction in the secretion of estrogen
(female reproductive hormone), which causes many physiological, psychological
and some times even pathological changes. The main physiological changes
are as follows:
The ovaries shrink in size and the production of egg (ovum) stops.
The uterus shrinks in size and becomes hard, with thinning of the
The mucus layer of vagina becomes thin and the external vaginal
opening becomes narrow.
The breasts lose the fats and become saggy due to the deposition
of fats around them.
The axillary and vulval hair becomes sparse.
There is weight gain, which increases as fats accumulation near
thighs, buttocks and breasts.
Some times there is loss of appetite, and constipation, along with
psychological problems like mood fluctuation, depression, anxiety, etc.
After menopause, serum calcium and HDL (high density lipids) levels
decrease, giving rise to the weakness of bones (osteoporosis), and increased
risk of heart disease (due to increase in the low density lipids or LDL).
The sexual desire increases during menopause, with consequent fall
due to ageing process.
This is the syndrome that occurs during the menopausal period, predominantly
due to the symptoms of estrogen withdrawal in some women. It is characterized
by following signs and symptoms:
The patient experiences hot flushes on face and neck spreading
through out the body, especially at nights, followed by moderate to severe
sweating. Some times, these flushes are as frequent as once every hour.
The psychological symptoms such as increased irritability, insomnia,
giddiness, tiredness, numbness in the arms and feet, etc., are more prominent.
There is lack of libido due to painful sexual act, which is due
to drying of the vagina, and lack of lubrication of vaginal wall. The
symptoms begin approximately one year before menopause and last up to
2-3 years after menopause.
The treatment of all the symptoms of menopausal syndrome is hormone replacement
therapy in varying doses and combinations depending upon severity of the
The Ayurvedic treatment is divided into cleansing therpy and drug therapy.
The cleansing therapy or the Panchakarma treatment consists of internal
oleation, followed by induced purgation and induced emesis to remove all
the corrupted Doshas from the body systems, followed by enemata with medicated
oils to subdue the vitiated Vata Dosha. Ayurveda prescribes various formulations
in the form of cold infusions, decoctions and powders for the drug therapy
of menopausal syndrome.
Cold infusion of Plaksha, Ashwattha, Vata (Ficus bengalensis),
and Peepal tree bark is advised in the dose of 30-50 ml. thrice daily.
Infusion of Ashoka (Saraca indica) along with calx of purified
iron should be taken in the dose of 50 ml. thrice daily.
In the cases of excessive bleeding, powder of Nagakeshar (Messua
ferra) and Lodhra (Symplocos recemosa) should be taken in the dose of
3-5 GMs. Twice daily.
Rejuvenators like Shatavari (Asparagus recemosus), Ashwagandha
(Withania somnifera) and Bala (Sida cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)
should be taken in the powdered form in the dose of 2-3 GMs. Daily.