Women are the centre of creation of Mother Nature. Health of women considerably affects the health of the future generation and wellness of the family. As hormone levels vary significantly from age to age she needs special care in her different stages of life. These hormonal variations also make females prone to stress and degenerations. For thousands of years, Ayurveda, the science of life and a way of living is enabling women to combat these issues effectively.
Woman is unique due to:
1. Extra season of woman; Menstruation:
In females the endocrine system is dominant, with specific hormonal seasons. Menstruation is the monthly elimination of unused fertility juices. The process of menstruation clearly divides women’s life into two phases,
I. Woman during the years of menstruation
II. After menopause.
The beginning of menstruation marks puberty in females with abrupt increase in female sex hormones and physical changes. Sometimes these changes can be difficult to adjust for the body and mind requiring help. Along with these hormonal changes, various social and emotional factors – exams, moving out from home, relationship issues, anxiety about future, etc- most of the time results in the occurrence of chronic health issues. Ayurveda can help to prepare adolescent girls to face this phase and problem(s) successfully.
Each menstrual cycle is again divided into three phases; days of menstruation, after menstruation to ovulation (proliferative phase) and from ovulation to menstruation (secretary phase). Until ovulation (proliferative phase) oestrogen is dominant and until menstruation (secretary phase) progesterone. Around menopause there is a sudden decline in female hormone levels, making the body difficult to adjust. So we can see that the hormone levels vary considerably in females from time to time. Thus it is important for women to adjust their diet and life style according to the changes in hormone levels, so that general functioning and the transition from one phase to other are healthy and problem free. Ayurveda can help women to achieve this.
2. Pregnancy, child birth and lactation:
Women are the receivers of sperms and provide the site for following events in human beings, so the system should be strong enough to carry out all these functions effectively and smoothly. During these times, nutritional needs are high and hormone levels vary. An imbalance in metabolism can sometimes lead to serious troubles during this stage. Females are prone to deficiency diseases, their complications and stress during these times. Ayurveda can help them to prepare for and carry out this unique blessing more effectively and easily.
Women’s common health threats:
- Mental health
Women are prone to stress due to the variations in hormonal levels and the multiple roles they carry out. Stress result in burning out, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, somatic disorders, etc. Stress also make females prone to indigestion, obesity, muscle spasms, cervical spondylosis, degenerative diseases like osteoporosis and autoimmune diseases like SLE, etc. Understanding your body through Ayurveda, meditation, healthy living, Ayurvedic detox, herbs and Ayurvedic massage treatments can help to reduce stress and increase the quality of your life.
- Women’s reproductive health problem
The rate of female reproductive health problems is high due to the above said reasons. Some of them are
- Precautious menstruation: Due to the changes in today’s diet and life style during childhood, many girls are prone to an early start of menstruation; before they are mentally and physically prepared. Ayurvedic life styles (and treatments, if needed) can help in these conditions for healthy and easy transition.
- Menstrual disorders: Menstrual disorders decrease quality of life stealing a number of days every month from your work and/ or studying. It can be polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, peri menstrual syndrome, excessive bleeding (dysfunctional uterine bleeding), dysmenorrhoea (painful menstruation), irregular cycles, prolonged periods, scanty menstruation, etc. These disorders can be due to an imbalance in general homeostasis or due to a specific pathology, both of which can be managed naturally by specific herbs and Ayurvedic treatments.
- Disorders of female reproductive system: Some examples are pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cyst, uterine fibroids, infections of cervix and vagina, leucorrhoea, precancerous changes of tissues, cancers, etc. By reducing stress, improving general metabolism, detox treatments and advising specific herbs, Ayurveda provides some natural and better options for the treatment of these diseases. All these treatments generally improve the quality of life. In some situations (like cancer) an integrative approach using Ayurveda and Western medicine can help to fasten the recovery, stop or slow down the progress and/ or reduce side effects and complications of chemotherapy.
- Sexual problems: Females are completely different from males in sexual behaviour. Understanding female sexual behaviour is an important step in enjoying sex. Various sexual disorders like decreased libido, painful intercourse, female sexual dysfunction, etc. can be managed with Ayurveda.
- Infertility treatments: Various conditions that affect ovulation and decrease the capabilities of uterus can lead to infertility in women. As ovum and sperm are the deepest tissues, Ayurveda teaches that an imbalance in general tissue metabolism can lead to infertility. Also an imbalance in vata (functional particle that controls movements) in lower abdomen can lead to improper functioning of reproductive organs. Generally these issues are referred as unexplained infertility, which can be corrected with Ayurveda. Also Ayurveda suggests various herbs and natural preparations to correct the pathologies of infertility.
3. Preparing for pregnancy:
Stress, addictions, multiple partners, use of contraceptives, etc. make a women’s body an uncomfortable place for babies. Also the internal environment of females has a greater impact on the body type and development of the child. So always before planning to have a baby, it is good to detox your systems, boost your metabolism and immunity, rejuvenate your body and nourish your fertile juices. Ayurveda advises lifestyle modification, herbs and various treatments for this purpose. Also these treatments improve the health and hormonal balance, making you more successful to have a healthy baby and less susceptible to stress and difficulties during pregnancy, delivery and lactation.
4. Prenatal and post natal care:
From ancient times Ayurveda advises special regimes during these special times which can help to improve the health of mother and child in coming years. They are also important in the prevention and management of complications of pregnancy and child birth, post natal depression, etc.
5. Peri menopausal syndrome:
A sudden decline in female hormones around menopause lead to a range of symptoms like hot flush, anxiety, depression, mood variations, dry vagina, thinning of skin, hair, nail and bones, etc. Ayurveda can help you to adapt with this situation more easily and increase the quality of your life through life style advices, herbs and treatments.
6. Care for wise years:
After menopause, the decline in the protective female sex hormones increases coronary heart disease, joint diseases, etc. in women. Also due to socio-cultural reasons women are prone to mental, psychosomatic and physical illness during this period of life. Ayurvedic lifestyle, herbs and massage treatments can help in a great deal to support quality of life during this time.