Through symptoms, know at which stage of menopause are you on

By Dr Sharda Ayurveda In Gynae

Well, menopause is a natural and biological process that every woman has to go through after a certain age. Experiencing menopause can be bothersome, as it always comes with a lot of intricacies such as hot flashes, weight gain, or loss, urinary incontinence, osteoporosis, hormonal fluctuations, reduced libido, and risk of cardiovascular diseases.
45 to 55 is the average age of menopause in India. In certain cases, it could be also earlier, which will be considered as early menopause. The topic of today’s blog will cover all significant aspects regarding the different stages of menopause along with their different symptoms. 
Before proceeding directly to the stages, let’s first understand what menopause is, and why it occurs.

What is menopause?

It is a natural female body process, marked by a decline in the reproductive hormones when a woman reaches the age of 45 to 55. It is commonly signalled by the end of your menstruation cycle, due to loss of ovarian follicular function. It is a condition when ovaries stop releasing eggs for fertilization. 

In Ayurveda, We consider it as “Rajonivritti” induced via aging factor, and imbalanced body-governing Doshas. Hot flashes, constant mood swings, vaginal dryness, sleeping difficulty, weight gain, and slowed metabolism are some common symptoms of menopause. 

Why does it occur?

  • Ageing: Menopause is mainly caused by constant ageing. Mostly, women experience it between the ages of 45 to 55, but in certain cases, it could be also earlier.
  • Ovaries removal: If you have gone through any surgery like oophorectomy, or DUB, then there are likely chances of occurrence of experiencing menopause symptoms. 
  • Hormonal fluctuations: Menopause may be accompanied by several hormonal imbalances in the body. When female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone are out of balance, the ovaries may stop releasing eggs, as a result, menopause symptoms tend to arise. 
  • Stress: One of the principal factors responsible for the occurrence of menopause is excessive stress, anxiety, and hypertension. It is seen that women with psychological distress and discomfort experience early menopause quite often.

Stages of Menopause

The overall cycle of this biological process can be divided into 3 stages. A brief about these stages along with their distinctive symptoms is as follows:

PERIMENOPAUSE
   ⬇️
MENOPAUSE
   ⬇️
POSTMENOPAUSE


1. Perimenopause  

It is a condition that you may experience, before actual menopause, that’s why it is also called “Around menopause” or “Pre-menopause.” It mainly occurs before 3 to 5 years of menopause, however, this Peri menopause age criteria can vary significantly. This stage marks the changes in menstrual flow and the end of the reproductive years.

During the course, the levels of estrogen and progesterone start to fluctuate, causing uneasiness, irregular menstruation, and mood swings. During perimenopause, there is still a possibility of conceiving pregnancy. If you are experiencing Perimenopause, your monthly menstruation cycle will turn regular, but will not stop. 

Some of the unpleasant symptoms of Perimenopause are:

1.    Irregular menstruation
2.    Difficulty concentrating
3.    Vaginal dryness
4.    Mood swings
5.    Hot flashes
6.    Reduced libido
7.    Trouble sleeping
8.    Reduced fertility
9.    Bladder issues 
10.    Headaches

2. Menopause

Menopause can be defined as the absence of menstruation for 12 months straight. Such irregular menses are not induced by any illness, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or medication, but arise due to the ovarian incompatibility of releasing eggs. The chances of pregnancy are almost nil. 
The general age for menopause is 45 to 55 years, but in certain cases, some women may have to experience menopause at an early stage, which is recognized as early menopause, or premature menopause.

Some of the unpleasant symptoms of Menopause are:

1.    Vaginal dryness
2.    Menstruation difficulty
3.    Weight gain
4.    Urinary incontinence
5.    Hot flashes
6.    Breast fullness
7.    Reduced sexual desires
8.    Thinner hair
9.    Sleeping problems
10.     Facial hair growth

3. Postmenopause

Postmenopause- Third and the last stage of Menopause. It indicates the end of reproductive years, where you will no longer be ovulating, or menstruating. Once you enter the postmenopausal phase, you will be in it for the rest of your life. In this condition, the ovaries produce very low levels of estrogen and progesterone which in turn increases the risk of osteoporosis, osteopenia, and heart disease.
At this stage, there is no chance of conceiving pregnancy as ovaries have already stopped releasing eggs.

Some of the unpleasant symptoms of Postmenopause are:

1.    Stopped menstruation
2.    Dryness of the vaginal cavity
3.    Hot flashes
4.    Sleep disturbances- Insomnia
5.    Anxiety-induced incontinence
6.    Elevated heart rate
7.    Increased risk of urinary infections
8.    Memory lapses and fatigue
9.    Hair loss and thinning
10.  Painful intercourse and reduced libido

The good news is that no matter at what stage of menopause are you at, it's completely manageable following a healthy lifestyle, dietary adjustments, and regular exercising. 
However, if the symptoms are intense, you should surely consult a gynecologist, healthcare professional, or Ayurveda expert. Together, their advice and medical treatment will help you to conquer menopause, and keep the risk of interlinked health concerns at bay.  

Basis Perimenopause Menopause  Postmenopause
Stage First stage Second stage Third stage
Complications Mild Complications Severe Complications Severe Complications
Release of eggs Ovaries do release eggs Ovaries stop releasing eggs  Ovaries stop releasing eggs 
Chances of Pregnancy Natural conceiving is possible. Chances are very less like 0 -1 % only.  Natural conceiving is not possible. 
Menstruation High-key chances of irregular menstruation and low-key chances of regular menstruation Irregular 
menstruation cycles are witnessed

No 
menstruation 
cycles.

Menopause Treatment in Ayurveda

To all the women who are bothered by the complications of this biological process- YOU CAN GET RELIEF FROM IT. 
All you just need is to follow the path of Ayurveda, encompassing certain herbal remedies, dietary modifications, yoga, pranayama, and meditation. Menopause Ayurvedic treatment is also prioritized by the ladies, as it is a natural measure of ensuring relief, and is free from side effects. 
Let’s have a quick brief about the natural measures that form and constitute menopause Ayurvedic treatment:

NATURAL HERBS

natural-herbs-for-menopause

Herbs are the pillars of all types of treatments whether it is Ayurveda, Homeopathy, or Unani. Even in certain allopathy medicines, plants and herbs are used as the main ingredients. Several herbs can help you deal with different menopause phases. Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Shatavari, Mulethi, Saffron, and Aloe vera are herbs that you can rely upon for easing menopausal symptoms.

DIETARY TRANSITIONS

dietary-transition-for-menopause

The ladies need to be extra cautious about their food intake during these stages as there are several complications and fluctuations arising in the body that demand increased strength, stamina, and willpower both physically and mentally. Add fibre, protein, vitamins, and a nutrient-rich diet to your routine. 
Consume fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, milk, and soaked dry fruits for the maintenance and harmonization of your body. There is a decline in estrogen levels during menopause, which increases the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis. The intake of this diet will reduce these risks and also make the body strong from both inside and outside.

LIFESTYLE ADJUSTMENTS

lifestyle-adjustments-for-menopause

The lifestyle you follow may also affect your health. A sedentary or passive lifestyle makes you vulnerable to several health concerns, such as obesity, joint pain, anxiety, and sometimes even depression. Similar is in the case of menopause. If you are going through any stage of menopause, it is advised to stay active and engage in some sort of activity.
You can try mild walking, jogging, and cycling, & make sure to maintain a sound sleeping pattern. It will help you stay at a healthy weight and ease problems like hot flashes, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating.

YOGA & MEDITATION

Yoga and meditation are the two top-notch branches of menopause Ayurvedic treatment. They are vital for the overall harmony and well-being of both mind & body. Performing yoga asanas reduces muscle tension, along with stress. It also restores energy and prevents insomnia, anxiety, and fatigue. Meditating regularly makes the mind calm and balances the levels of estrogen and testosterone in the body, thus alleviating menopause symptoms.  

Takeaway

No human being is alike. In Ayurveda, we believe that every individual has a different body constitution and Prakriti. It is vital to mention that every woman is unique and may experience menopause differently. For some, it may be less severe, and for others, it could be widely intolerable and discomforting.
But why stress out?
With Ayurveda, you can manage all these conditions, whether it is perimenopause, menopause, postmenopause, or premature menopause. 

Article By:

Dr Sharda Ayurveda

At Dr. Sharda Ayurveda emphasis is made on treating the patients with the power of Ayurveda and traveling along with them in the path of natural and safe healing. The satisfaction and recovery of our patients is our utmost priority.

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