Ayurvedic view on Menopause

Dr. Vishnu B.A.M.S

Menopause signifies the cessation of menstrual cycles, typically confirmed when a woman has not had a period for 12 consecutive months. This natural transition typically occurs in women aged between their 40s and 50s. Menopause is accompanied by a range of symptoms, including hot flashes, emotional disturbances that can disrupt sleep, decreased energy levels, and impacts on emotional well-being. Ayurveda focuses on preventive healthcare to manage or alleviate abnormal symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, night sweats, flushing, and vaginal atrophy. Typically, these symptoms are addressed using natural home remedies. Alternatively, the Ayurvedic approach to menopause seeks to harmonize with the natural progression of this phase, offering solutions that align with the body’s innate processes.

What are the three different stages of menopause?

Before Menopause (Perimenopause):

  • This phase usually starts in your late 40s and can last 3-5 years before menopause.
  • During perimenopause, your estrogen and hormone levels begin to drop.
  • You may notice irregular periods and experience symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, trouble sleeping, and changes in your urinary and vaginal health.
  • Pregnancy is still possible during perimenopause, so birth control may be recommended if you want to avoid it.
  • Some medical conditions or treatments can cause early menopause, like a hysterectomy, oophorectomy, or premature ovarian failure.

During Menopause:

  • Most women enter menopause around 51 or 52 years old.
  • You’re considered in menopause when you’ve gone 12 months without a period.
  • The transition from perimenopause to menopause can take 1-3 years.
  • Symptoms vary from woman to woman, and some may not experience any symptoms.

After Menopause (Postmenopause):

  • Postmenopause begins after you’ve gone a full year without a period.
  • Symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, trouble sleeping, and vaginal dryness can continue into postmenopause.
  • With decreased estrogen, there’s a higher risk of heart disease, osteopenia, and osteoporosis.
  • It’s important to manage symptoms and consider preventive measures for long-term health during this stage.

Causes of Menopause

The exact causes of Rajonivrutti (menopause) are not explicitly mentioned in Ayurvedic texts. However, the likely reasons for its occurrence include:

  • Swabhava (natural constitution or inherent characteristics)
  • Aging of the body (Jarapakvasharira) due to time (Kala)
  • Decline or depletion of bodily tissues (Dhatukshaya)
  • Influence of imbalanced bodily doshas (Dosha)
  • Effects of Vayu (air element or vital force)
  • External factors such as physical or emotional trauma (Abhighat)

Menopause, a natural phase of aging, occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop releasing eggs and producing hormones essential for fertility ovaries house follicles containing eggs, whose numbers decrease with age. Eventually, ovulation ceases, leading to the end of monthly menstrual cycles. Estrogen and progesterone, pivotal female hormones, decline during menopause, impacting various bodily functions. Though estrogen production decreases, small amounts of testosterone continue, contributing to hormonal fluctuations.

Induced menopause can happen when the ovaries and related pelvic parts are surgically removed or injured. Common causes include:

  • Surgical removal of both ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy).
  • Ovary function shutdown (ovarian ablation) through hormone therapy, surgery, or radiotherapy, often for treating estrogen receptor-positive tumors.
  • Pelvic radiation therapy.
  • Severe pelvic injuries damaging or destroying the ovaries.

Signs and symptoms of menopause

  • Irregular vaginal bleeding: Periods may become unpredictable, varying in frequency and duration.
  • Hot flashes: Sudden feelings of warmth, often in the head and chest, lasting from seconds to minutes.
  • Night sweats: Episodes of drenching sweats during sleep, leading to disrupted sleep patterns.
  • Vaginal symptoms: Thinning, dryness, itching, and pain during sex due to changes in vaginal tissues.
  • Urinary symptoms: Increased risk of urinary tract infections, frequent urination, and urinary incontinence.
  • Emotional and cognitive symptoms: Fatigue, memory problems, irritability, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating.
  • Other physical changes: Weight gain, changes in body fat distribution, skin texture changes, and increased hair growth in certain areas.

In Ayurveda, the doshas, namely Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, can influence menopause in various ways. Here’s a breakdown of how each dosha may manifest during this stage:


  • Dry skin or mucous membranes, including vaginal dryness
  • Scanty bleeding during perimenopause
  • Digestive discomfort and occasional constipation
  • Difficulty concentrating or sleeping
  • Feelings of anxiousness, worry, and fear
  • Increased risk of bone loss


  • Hot flashes
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Heavy bleeding during perimenopause
  • Skin discomfort and imbalances, such as rashes or acne
  • Feelings of anger, irritation, jealousy, criticism, and competitiveness
  • The sensation of excess heat in the body
  • Imbalances related to the heart


  • Weight gain, especially around the abdomen
  • Feelings of sadness, lack of motivation, or greediness
  • Decreased concentration due to mental dullness
  • Feeling emotionally and physically “bogged down” or lethargic

What is the hormonal change in menopause?

  • Ovarian Hormones: Menopause halts ovarian secretion of estrogen and progesterone, essential for fertility and menstrual regulation.
  • Testosterone Production: Despite estrogen decline, ovaries still produce testosterone, capable of conversion to estradiol by body fat enzymes.
  • Adrenal Gland Activity: The adrenal gland continues to produce androstenedione, a male hormone, converted into estrone and estradiol within body fat.
  • Reduced Estrogen: Total estrogen production diminishes post-menopause compared to reproductive years, impacting various bodily functions and physiological processes.

Does menopause cause weight gain?

Weight gain is prevalent in women aged 50 to 59, particularly due to hormonal shifts during menopause. Accumulating weight around the abdomen, known as the “apple shape,” heightens the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and various health issues. Additionally, a higher body mass index (BMI) could intensify the frequency or severity of hot flashes. These changes underscore the importance of proactive lifestyle modifications and healthcare measures to mitigate health risks associated with menopausal weight gain.

How does menopause affect your teeth and mouth?

Menopausal hormonal fluctuations increase susceptibility to plaque buildup, heightening the risk of tooth decay, gingivitis (gum inflammation), and advanced gum disease. These changes underscore the importance of maintaining oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups during menopause to mitigate dental health risks.

How can menopause affect the eyes?

During menopause, the female body experiences a decrease in the production of estrogen and progesterone, two key hormones essential for various bodily functions. As these hormone levels decline, significant changes can occur in the eyes.

  • Reduced hormone levels can affect oil gland function in the eyes, leading to dryness.
  • Estrogen and progesterone influence light entry and movement in the eyes, potentially causing blurry vision.
  • Menopausal individuals may develop eye conditions like dry eye, glaucoma, and cataracts due to hormonal changes.

How can menopause affect the eyes?

During menopause, the female body experiences a decrease in the production of estrogen and progesterone, two key hormones essential for various bodily functions. As these hormone levels decline, significant changes can occur in the eyes.

  • Reduced hormone levels can affect oil gland function in the eyes, leading to dryness.
  • Estrogen and progesterone influence light entry and movement in the eyes, potentially causing blurry vision.
  • Menopausal individuals may develop eye conditions like dry eye, glaucoma, and cataracts due to hormonal changes.

How can menopause cause facial hair growth?

Just like men, women possess hair follicles across their faces, typically producing tiny, soft hairs that are hardly noticeable. However, during menopause, the cessation of estrogen circulation occurs while testosterone levels remain constant. This hormonal imbalance can trigger the emergence of male secondary sex characteristics, such as coarse facial hair.

 If facial and body hair begins to grow rapidly, it’s crucial to inform your doctor as it may indicate underlying medical conditions like 

  • ovarian or adrenal tumors that produce testosterone, or Cushing syndrome, characterized by excessive secretion of male hormones from the adrenal glands, leading to excessive hair growth.

How can menopause result in depression?

Menopause can contribute to depression through various physiological and psychological mechanisms:

  • Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations and declines in estrogen and progesterone levels during menopause can impact neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which regulate mood. These hormonal shifts may lead to chemical imbalances in the brain, increasing susceptibility to depression.
  • Physical Symptoms: Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and physical discomfort can disrupt daily routines and quality of life. Persistent physical discomfort and sleep disturbances can contribute to feelings of irritability, frustration, and low mood, potentially leading to depression.
  • Emotional Adjustment: Menopause signifies a significant life transition characterized by the end of reproductive years. This transition can bring about feelings of loss, identity changes, and existential concerns, which may trigger depressive symptoms.
  • Body Image Concerns: Changes in body composition, weight gain, and alterations in skin and hair texture during menopause can affect self-esteem and body image. Negative perceptions of one’s physical appearance can contribute to depressive symptoms.
  • Personal History: Individuals with a personal or family history of depression or mental health disorders may be at higher risk of experiencing depression during menopause.

What other emotional changes can occur during menopause?

Understanding menopause is crucial for several reasons, as it impacts women both physically and emotionally. One significant aspect is emotional well-being. Menopause can affect mood and mental health, leading to feelings of anxiety, irritability, and depression. By understanding these emotional changes, individuals can seek support from healthcare professionals, friends, or support groups. Additionally, adopting coping strategies such as mindfulness, relaxation techniques, and regular exercise can help manage emotional symptoms, promoting overall mental well-being during this transitional phase of life.

Recommended yoga for menopause

As the body undergoes menopausal transitions, hormone fluctuations and age-related changes like muscle loss and joint degeneration may occur. Engaging in yoga practices, including poses, relaxation techniques, and pranayamas (deep breathing exercises), can offer various benefits. These practices may help balance hormones, strengthen muscles, improve sleep quality, and enhance digestion. Additionally, yoga can promote overall physical and mental well-being during the menopausal period, providing support for managing its associated challenges.

Here are some yoga poses and breathing exercises tailored to alleviate both physical and emotional symptoms experienced during menopause:

For Hormonal Balance and Pelvic Opening:

  • Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana): Stimulates the ovaries and opens the pelvis, aiding hormonal changes.
  • Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana): Improves thyroid function, balances hormones, and strengthens the lower back.

For Hot Flashes and Night Sweats:

  • Sitali Pranayama (Cooling Breath): Inhale through a rolled tongue or pursed lips to create a cooling effect and alleviate hot flashes.
  • Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana): Lie on your back with hips lifted using a prop to gently cool the body.

For Mood Swings and Stress Management:

  • Child’s Pose (Balasana): Calms the mind and reduces stress by stretching the back and shoulders.
  • Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing): Balances the brain’s hemispheres, promoting emotional stability and reducing stress.

For Better Sleep Quality:

  • Legs Up the Wall Pose (Viparita Karani): Relaxes the nervous system, promoting restful sleep.
  • Corpse Pose (Savasana): Induces deep relaxation, preparing the body for a peaceful night’s sleep.

For Vaginal Health and Hormonal Balance:

  • Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana): Improves blood circulation to the pelvic area, promoting vaginal health.
  • Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana): Enhances flexibility in the pelvic region and strengthens pelvic floor muscles.

Benefits of  Ayurvedic Menopause Treatment

Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine, offers a holistic approach to managing menopausal symptoms by targeting dosha imbalances, especially Vata, through lifestyle adaptations and herbal remedies. To begin with, individuals are advised to adopt a dosha-based diet and lifestyle, aiming to pacify aggravated doshas, particularly Vata, by incorporating foods like warm, cooked, nourishing meals that suit their constitution.

Herbal remedies play a crucial role in managing menopausal symptoms. Various herbs such as Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Brahmi, and Gokshura are commonly used to address hormonal imbalances, reduce hot flashes, enhance mood, and promote overall well-being during menopause.

If symptoms persist despite dietary and lifestyle changes, individuals may consider undergoing Panchakarma therapy, which is a comprehensive Ayurvedic detoxification process. Panchakarma aims to eliminate toxins (ama) and rebalance doshas through therapies like Vamana (emesis), Virechana (purgation), Basti (enema), and Nasya (nasal administration).

Samshamana therapy involves internal detoxification methods, including specific herbal formulations, dietary modifications, and lifestyle recommendations, to pacify aggravated doshas and restore balance.

Menopause Ayurvedic Treatment at Dheemahi Ayurveda

The rich wisdom of Ayurveda recognizes the unique needs of women, providing comprehensive guidance to support their physical, mental, and emotional balance. Panchakarma, with its transformative therapies, complements Ayurveda by offering deep detoxification, rejuvenation, and restoration. As women navigate the complexities of their lives, Ayurveda and Panchakarma serve as pillars of support, empowering women to take control of their health and embark on a path of renewal and self-care.

However, it’s essential to seek guidance from qualified Ayurvedic practitioners to receive personalized advice and treatment plans tailored to individual needs. With Ayurveda and Panchakarma as allies, women can attain optimal well-being and embrace their health journey with confidence and grace. Dheemahi Ayurveda, a leading traditional Ayurvedic hospital in Kerala, specializes in women’s health. With expertise spanning five generations, our expert lady doctors offer Panchakarma-oriented treatments, ensuring holistic well-being through traditional Ayurvedic practices.

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