When a girl enters adolescence, the functions of the internal organs of her body undergo great transformation. Ovaries, the sex organs, commence the production of sex hormones which were lying dormant during childhood. The immature sex cells come under the influence of the hormones and thus monthly cycles of menstruation occur except during pregnancy till menopause, when production of this hormone stops.
Menstrual cycles are monthly periods between puberty and menopause when the change occurs in the functions of the ovaries and uterus. These changes of functions manifest themselves in the form of some symptoms prior to and during the periods. The symptoms actually disappear once the periods commence leaving the body in a better state than before.
Any discomfort or disorder can be attributed without hesitation to emotions and inability to adjust oneself for these special days, because the functions of the endocrine glands are influenced by one’s emotions. As these activities are governed by the endocrine glands, any disturbance in these glands manifests as symptoms and discomforts during this time.
Absence of menstruation (amnorrhea)
Under normal circumstances a girl begins menstruating around the age of twelve to sixteen years. In case of abnormal conditions, the endocrine gland’s function seems to be retarded resulting in the absence of menstruation. Defective or underdeveloped reproductive organs, extreme conditions of very poor health and lowered vitality, are the other causes for absence of menstruation.
Treatment for amnorrhea
Hot sitz bath in the morning and at bed time for one day and alternating hot and cold sitz bath twice on the next day. They must be carried out on alternate days at a stretch for at least one month.
Mandukasana, Januvakshasana, Yogamudra, Dhanurasana and Pavanamuktasana.
Nos. 1, 2 and 5. (See page 189 & 190)
Household remedies for amnorrhea
- Boil two spoonful fenugreek seeds in a glass of water and reduce to half glass. Remove and filter. Take this drink twice a day for some days.
- Boil two tablespoons of white sesame seeds (til) and a pinch of pepper powder in one glass of water. Reduce to half. Add a little jaggery and take this drink twice daily for at least 10 days.
Painful menstruation (dysmenorrheal)
Pain and discomfort are to a certain extent found as normal symptoms during menstrual periods especially cramps in the legs and thigh muscles. But in some cases low backache, abdominal cramps and painful discharge are experienced.
Emotional stress and anxiety are known to be the predisposing factors for dysmenorrheal. Cramps and pains are followed by scanty discharge due to pelvic congestion. The fear of pain psychologically disturbs the muscular activities to carry out their otherwise normal function and cause the flow in clots sometimes increasing the pain further. When the pain becomes too intense, giddiness and palpitations are experienced.
Treatment for dysmenorrheal
Hot sitz bath in the morning and alternating hot and cold sitz baths at bed time.
Grind ajwain to powder, dissolve one teaspoon of this powder in hot milk and take twice a day.
As for other disorders of women.
Profuse bleeding (menorrhagia)
Under normal conditions the discharge during the periods lasts from five to seven days. This varies considerably in individuals. On the first and second day, discharge is heavy which is normal. It gradually decreases in the coming days and stops on the 5th or 6th day. During all these days if one experiences heavy and frequent discharge and if it extends beyond seven days, without showing any sign of cessation or abating, it is cause for concern. There could then be some serious disorder of the uterus in the form of infection and fibroid tumors or other blood disorders.
Sometimes the discharges appear between periods or too early instead of the regular time. Excess discharge results in severe anemic conditions unless it is checked.
Treatment of menorrhagia
Cold sitz bath. Alternating hot and cold sitz bath and hip bath.
Januvakshasana and Supta Vajrasana. Note : Exercises are not to be performed during menses and as long as bleeding is present.
Nos. 1 and 5. (See page 189 & 190)
- Tulsi leaves are extremely useful in all uterine disorders. Two teaspoons of juice of tulsi leaves with honey or candy sugar is very beneficial in excess, scanty or painful and absent menses.
- Boil two teaspoons of coriander leaves in two glasses of water to reduce to one glass. Cool it and take it in the morning preferably on an empty stomach on the first four days of menses.
- Half a glass of juice of pomegranates in the morning during breakfast.
- One glass carrot and beetroot juice of equal quantity to be taken for two cycles.
White discharge (leucorrhea)
This includes all non-bloody discharges from the vagina. In normal conditions a very small amount of discharge may be present. It contains mucus or pus hence the white or yellow colour. This need not cause nay concern. But if it is associated with severe itching, burning and the discharge is profuse, it demands attention.
Leucorrhea is a symptom of some chronic infection of the uterus, glands of oviducts of even local infection. It is also caused due to some inflammation of the reproductive organs or due to insufficient or excess sex hormones.
Leucorrhea causes great discomfort with extreme exhaustion, palpitations, giddiness and severe headaches.
Treatment for leucorrhea
Cold sitz bath in the morning and at bed time.
Nos. 1, 2 and 5. (See page 189 & 190)
- Roast one teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera), powder and mix with a little sugar and take three times a day. Make the roasted powder fresh each time.
- Mix one teaspoon dried anwla powder with tow teaspoons honey and take every morning for some days regularly.
- Take grapes exclusively in the breakfast for some days.
- Roast a fistful of Bengal gram and powder it. Add a little candy sugar and take with half cup milk to which a little ghee is added.
Cessation of menses (menopause)
Menopause is the time when the menstrual cycles come to an end. Though the age at which this change takes place differs from individual to individual normally it occurs above the age of 40 to 50.
After menopause the function of reproduction comes to a standstill as there is no secretion of the sex hormones. The ovaries and uterus shrink and become inactive and they are not capable of reproduction any more.
The duration of menopause is not the same with every one. In some it is abrupt with very minimum symptoms and in others, it may prolong for about a year or more. So also the disturbing symptoms.
More than the menopause itself, it is the symptoms that go with it that disturb women physically and mentally.
Mental symptoms are more marked than the physical ones. The secretion of thyroid hormones diminishes too and the extremes or weight loss or gain occur. General health becomes poor with either the absence of good appetite or the other extreme of feeling hungry all the time. Constant headache and backache drive some women crazy, so much so that they begin imagining that they would feel secure once their periods restart.
Sudden hot flushes followed by chilliness several times a day are the other symptoms. If they occur during night, the much needed sleep is disturbed and leaves the sufferer weaker the next morning to experience headaches and giddiness. During menopause the demand for calcium increases and if it is not provided in adequate quantity through food, this loss affects almost all the joints one by one starting first with the lower spine and later the knees, shoulders and finally the wrist and fingers. Rheumatism attacks the joints and they become inflamed and stiff.
Urban women seem to suffer the consequence of the menopause and its symptoms more than their rural counterparts. Also women from affluent families are more prone than those who belong to the working class and poor families. Most of the these women have worries of daily life and they have to work hard throughout the day which leaves very little or no time to care for their physical discomforts. Their emotions are diverted and this diversion itself enables them to face menopause with minimum discomforts.
Treatment for menopause
Menopause should be faced naturally as it comes. Accepting reality with calmness will make the period as smooth as possible. This is the time when there aren’t any very young children to look after and the responsibility of the family is shared and distributed. This is the right time to channel one’s talents in the pursuit of some creative activities.
Alternating hot and cold hip and sitz baths. Other water treatment as per the need and symptoms.
Same as for other women’s disorders.
According to the symptoms.