All You Need to Know about Menopause
Gentlemen this one’s for you too. People aged 15-37 are the largest demographic in the world, and with that comes the aches and pains of ageing. Women, in particular, experience a natural shift in their body’s natural rhythms when they pass the age of 48. They experience menopause.
Menopause is the absence of a woman’s menstrual periods for 12 months. It is not a process that happens instantaneously but rather occurs gradually and is different for each woman. When a woman undergoes menopause is not in anyway related to when she has her first period. Additionally, there can be several factors in a woman’s health that may delay or hasten the onset of menopause.
Internally, menopause occurs when the ovaries cease their functioning. This directly translates to an inability to become pregnant, as eggs are no longer being produced by the ovaries.
There is no specific way to know when a woman may experience menopause, but the average age is around 51 or past 48. However, a woman can experience menopause in her 30’s or even as late as her 60’s.
Menopause is not a phase, but rather a milestone. Like puberty, it beckons the biological change in the system that is lifelong. However, there are signs and symptoms of menopause that may begin before and after the 12-month absence of a woman’s period.
Signs and Symptoms of Menopause
Remember that each woman’s experience is unique, and the severity of some of the symptoms listed below may also vary from woman to woman.
Irregular Vaginal Bleeding: This occurs when there is an irregularity in the frequency, duration or consistency of a woman’s menstrual period.
Hot Flashes: A woman may experience hot flashes, which is speculated to be the result of an imbalance in the biochemicals in the body. These decrease over time.
Emotional Symptoms and Cognitive Effects: Women have reported symptoms of lethargy, memory loss and mood swings in the perimenopause (pre) phase. This is, however, difficult to scientifically collate as emotional and cognitive deficits may stem from other causes.
Weight Gain: One of the most common symptoms women who have undergone menopause report is fluctuation in their weight. Most commonly weight gain. This might occur to the body re-attributing fat from the thighs to the abdominal area.
Menopause and Ayurveda
Ayurveda suggests that menopause is a Vata dominant part of life. The symptoms experienced during menopause are similar to that of a Vata imbalance. Natural remedies for menopause focus around rebalancing the doshas while correcting hormonal balances.
- Avoiding salt, chillies and excess spice
- Using cinnamon and cumin in your cooking, which are warming spices
- Using almond oil and olive oil daily as part of body massage
- Choosing a healthy active lifestyle can help reduce symptoms as well
Remember that menopause is a completely natural occurrence for any woman. In Ayurveda, it too is a part of the human lifecycle. With this knowledge, you should now have a better understanding of menopause.