Absence of menstrual period -women health issues.
Menstrual cycle: The monthly cycle of changes in the ovaries and the lining of the uterus (endometrium), starting with the preparation of an egg for fertilization. When the follicle of the prepared egg in the ovary breaks, it is released for fertilization and ovulation occurs. Unless pregnancy occurs, the cycle ends with the shedding of part of the endometrium, which is menstruation.
Ayurvedic view of the Menstrual cycle: In Ayurveda, menses (i.e. the flow of the menstrual period) is considered to be the excess pitta which flows out of the body. It is called as Raja. Hence the menstrual flow is also called as Raja Pravritti. Though menstruation is a typically pitta phenomenon, effects on the vata and the kapha are also seen. Some women have insomnia and mood swings during their periods. This is vata vitiation. Some women gain weight. This is kapha vitiation.
The four main phases of the menstrual cycle are:
- the follicular phase
- the luteal phase.
Menstruation is the elimination of the thickened lining of the uterus (endometrium) from the body through the vagina. The Menstrual fluid contains blood, cells from the lining of the uterus (endometrial cells) and mucus. The average length of a period is between three days and one week.
Sanitary pads or tampons are used to absorb the menstrual flow. Both pads and tampons need to be changed regularly (at least every four hours). Using tampons has been associated with an increased risk of a rare illness called toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
2. Follicular phase
The follicular phase starts on the first day of menstruation and ends with ovulation. Prompted by the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland releases Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This hormone stimulates the ovary to produce around five to 20 follicles (tiny nodules or cysts), which bead on the surface.
Each follicle houses an immature egg. Usually, only one follicle will mature into an egg, while the others die. It occurs around day 10 of a 28-day cycle. The growth of the follicles stimulates the lining of the uterus to thicken in preparation for possible pregnancy.
Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from the surface of the ovary. It generally occurs mid-cycle, around two weeks or so before menstruation starts. During the follicular phase, the developing follicle causes a rise in the level of estrogen. The hypothalamus in the brain recognizes these rising levels and releases a chemical called gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This hormone prompts the pituitary gland to produce raised levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and FSH.
Within two days, ovulation is triggered by the high levels of LH. The egg is funnelled into the fallopian tube and towards the uterus by waves of small, hair-like projections. The life span of the typical egg is only around 24 hours. Unless it meets a sperm during this time, it will die.
4. Luteal phase
During ovulation, the egg bursts from its follicle, but the ruptured follicle stays on the surface of the ovary. For the next two weeks or so, the follicle transforms into a structure known as the corpus luteum. This structure starts releasing progesterone, along with small amounts of estrogen. This combination of hormones maintains the thickened lining of the uterus, waiting for a fertilized egg to stick (implant).
If a fertilized egg implants in the lining of the uterus, it produces the hormones that are necessary to maintain the corpus luteum. It includes human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG), the hormone that is detected in a urine test for pregnancy. The corpus luteum keeps producing the raised levels of progesterone that are needed to maintain the thickened lining of the uterus.
If pregnancy does not occurs, the corpus luteum withers and dies, usually around day 22 in a 28-day cycle. The drop in progesterone levels causes the lining of the uterus to fall away. It is known as menstruation. The cycle then repeats.
- Amenorrhoea – or absence of menstrual periods. It is considered abnormal, except during pre-puberty, pregnancy, lactation and menopause. Possible causes include low or high body weight and excessive exercise.
Symptoms absence of menstrual period :
Excess facial hair
Causes of absence of menstrual period :
Breast feeding / Menopause
Contraceptive use Medication such as cancer chemotherapy, Antipsychotics, Anti-depressant, blood pressure drugs.
Allery medication / Low body weight / Excessive exercise
Stress / PCOS /Thyroids malfunction / Pituitary tumor
Home Remedies for Menstruation
- Fry asafetida in ghee and add a teaspoonful of it to buttermilk. Have this once a day in case of dysmenorrhea.
- Mix some sesame seeds in a glassful of water. Drink this twice daily when you have menstrual pains.
- Have salads with boiled beetroot in them, or have beetroot juice.
The following exercises help in reducing the pain of menstruation:-
a) Take a firm chair and stand behind it holding your hands firmly on the chair’s back. Lift one heel and then the other. Continue this for about ten minutes. You can also do knee-bends.
b) Lie on your back on a firm bed. Fold your legs and bring the knees up to your chin. Repeat this ten times.
Dietary Treatments for Menstruation –
The following dietary tips are beneficial to women who have painful or irregular periods:-
- Avoid all constipating foods, especially in the last week of the menstrual cycle. It includes fried foods, sour foods, and protein-rich pulses.
- Fish is a good dietary indication for painful periods. Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids which help to ease the spasms during menstruation. Meat, poultry and dairy products must be avoided.
- Among vegetables, white pumpkin, papaya, drumstick, snake gourd, bitter gourd, and cucumber are good for dysmenorrhea. Potato, yellow pumpkin, and eggplant must be avoided
Ayurvedic herbs used for menstruation;
Lemon grass(Cymbopogan citratus)
Ayurvedic medicines used for the absence of menstrual period :
Raja Pravartni vatti
In Deep Ayurveda patent medicine absence of menstrual period :
Femicare Herbal Capsule
Article Author : Dr. Baldeep Kour– Editor in Chief – “Ayurveda For Healthy Living ” (Ayurveda magazine publishing from Chandigarh ), Medical Director & Co-Founder of Deep Ayurevda. A renowned ayurvedic doctor of Chandigarh.
Statutory warning : Self medication can be very dangerous. Always use ayurvedic medicine under the strict supervision of an ayurvedic doctor.