Women and Her Health

Women and her health

A women ready for multiple roles

Women and health

Women and her health are very important for the existence of this world. It’s  because of her multiple roles as the mother, daughter, wife, homemaker and wage earner. Being all this is physically and mentally quite taxing. Woman’s body is wonderfully complex and delicate. As a woman, you might share some common health risks with men, such as Hypertension, Diabetes etc. but because of her special reproductive role, she is at risk of some distinctly female disorders. Ayurveda is a health care system sensitive to women and her health needs. Women are far more sensitive to the rhythms and cycles of nature and Ayurveda is founded on the principle of keeping the body toned in tune with nature and naturally women find Ayurveda very suitable.

Women’s Life and Dosha’s

All th three doshas are always present in the body, but relative predominace changes in different conditions or ages.  Although the woman is predominantly Kapha, the reproductive aspect is Pitta, since blood and menstrual fluid is Pitta. Thus woman is an embodiment of Agni. Agni is Fire. A male is predominantly Pitta, his reproductive system and the semen is basically Kapha. The opposing biological humors or Doshas attract each other and intercourse results in the balancing of the Doshas.

Status of  Doshas in different epochs of women’s life

Classification of age

Sub classification

Age limit (years)

Changes in the body

Status of Doshas

Childhood
  1. Bala (Kanya)
  2. Kumari (pre-menarche, puberty)
  3. Rajomati (menarche – young women)
1010-1212-16 General developmentDevelopment of secondary sex characteristicsMensturation starts and cycle is fully established, she is now capable to conceive. Kapha +++, pitta +, vata +Kapha+++, pitta ++, vata +Kapha +++, pitta +++, vata +
Middle Age
  1. Yuvati (women in reproductive years)
  2. Praudh awastha ( women in mid life)
16-4040-50 Maximum reproductive capacity, full maturityPre-menopausal symptoms are evident Kapha ++, pitta +++, vata +Kapha +, pitta +++, vata ++
Old Age
  1. Vriddha
50 and onwards Menopause and general decline Kapha +, pitta +, vata +++

 

Mensturation

Menstruation is the periodic discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina. Women typically stop menstruating if they conceive or if they are breastfeeding. Menstruation lasts from puberty until menopause among non-pregnant women. Menstrual fluid in fact contains some blood, as well as cervical mucus, vaginal secretions, and endometrial tissue. Menstrual fluid is reddish-brown, a slightly darker color than venous blood. No toxins are released in menstrual flow, as this is a lining that must be pure and clean enough to have nurtured a baby. The first experience of a menstrual period occurs after the onset of pubertal growth, and is called menarche. Perimenopause is when fertility in a female declines, and menstruation may occur less regularly in the years leading up to the final menstrual period, when a female stops menstruating completely and is no longer fertile, then it is known as menopause.

Stages of menstruation

  1. Menstrual phase
  2. Proliferative phase
  3. Secretory phase

Stages of menstruation and doshas

Specific stage

Duration

Condition of reproductive system

Dominant dosha

  1. Rajahkala (menstrual phase)
3-5 days or 7 days Menstrual blood loss Vata
  1. Rtukala ( proliferative phase)
12-16 days or whole month even without menstruation Establishment of new cycles ( navina raja), optimum chances of fertilization, increased sexual desire, etc. Kapha
  1. Rtuvyatita kala ( secretory phase)
9-13 days Presence of purans raja and constriction of yoni ( uterus ), less chances of conception, raised body temperature. Pitta

In Ayurvedic samhita’s majority of the gynaecological disorders have been described under the heading of Yonivyapad, though some of the menstural diorders have been described separately. The Charaka Samhita is the most comprehensive resource of Ayurveda. This samhita presents various categories of herbs and remedies for improving feminine health. The text groups a set of herbs under a specific title which explains the herbs and their properties, individually or in combination.

Causes of yonivyapad or gynaecological disorders

  1. Abnormal diet (mitthya aahar) – excessive or mal or inadequate diet along with non congenial , unwholesome, unhygienic and incompatible food.  The diet influences the doshas and the dusyas of the body, main causes of all the disorders.
  2. Life style ( mitthya vihar) – coitus in abnormal body postures or with a week or young women by a strong man or use of artificial organ for sexal orgasms etc come under this group. These may produce local ulceration, hyperemia and infection responsible for various gynaecological disorders.
  3. Abnormalities of either ovum or sperm, or both. – various chromosomal or genetic abnormalities come under this group.
  4. Curses of god ( devyii prakop) – unknown or idiopathic factors come under this category.

 

Number of Gynaecological disorders (Yonivyapad)

Almost all the ayurvedic classics have given the number of yonivyapad as twenty, but few other gynaecological disorders are also described beyond the heading yonivyapad.

Yonivyapad and Gynaecological disorders

S.no

Yonivyapad

Gynaecological disorder

1 Vatiki / vatala Endometiosis, estogen deficiency
2 Pittali / paittiki Acute infective stage of reproductive system
3 Slaismiki / slesamli Trichomonas vaginitis
4 Tridosaja / sarvaja / sannipatiki Acute infection of reproductive system associated with general complications
5 Asrja / raktayoni Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB)
6 Lohitaksara Cervical erosion with ulcer
7 Arajaska Secondary amenorrhoea
8 Acarana Infertility due to sexual incompatibility
9 Aticarana Vaginitis with infertility due to excessive coitus
10 Prakcarana Pain in sacral region
11 Upapluta Monilial vulvovaginitis specially during pregnancy
12 Paripluta Dyspareunia
13 Udavarta Dysmenorrhoea
14 Karanini Cervical erosion
15 Putraghni Repeated abortions (?due to syphilis)
16 Antarmukhi Retroversion or retroflexion of uterus
17 Sucimukhi / sucivaktra Pin hole os of cervix
18 Suska Marked estrogen deficiency
19 Vamini Effluvium seminis
20 Sandi / sandhi / sanda Absence of estrogen due to hypophysis abnormality
21 Mahayoni Third degree uterine prolapse or procidentia
22 Prasramsini Second degree uterine prolapse
23 Phalini Prolapse of vaginal wall
24 Atyananda Nymphomania due to psychosis or menopause
25 Vandhya Primary amenorrhoea
26 Vipluta Presacral neuralgia

The description indicates that almost all types of disease afflicting female reproductive system have been described withn these yonivyapad. Clinical features are not given much importance as the area of comparison between these diseases and the modern gynaecology  becomes very limited.

Complications of yonivyapad or gynaecological disorders

Charak says that yoni (uterus) of women afflicted with dosa or diseases, does not retain sukra (sperms) and the female becomes infertile, other than this she also suffers from gulma, arsa (piles), pradara(meno-metrorrhagia) and other disorders of vaat.

Management in Ayuropathy

  • Walking in fresh air.
  • Plenty of Fluids and a healthy balanced diet.
  • Fasting atleast once in a week is very important.
  • Sitz Bath and steam bath.
  • Enema.
  • Douche with neem water.
  • Hot and cold fermentation.
  • Basti treatment.
  • Body Massage.
  • Use of various herbs as single or in combinations, eg. tulsi, Aloe vera, neem, nimb, lodhra churan and aasava, Ashvagandha etc.
  • Sarvangasana, Paschimottan asana, Bhujanga Asana and Halasana are specially very effective.
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