The age at which they enter menopause is variable for every woman. The typical age in which the first symptoms of menopause occur is late forties to early fifties. Menopause is the natural process in which ovarian function slowly, or in some cases rapidly, stops. Reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone are no longer produced after the menopause, and women can no longer get pregnant after the process is finished.
The role of estrogen is to prepare the female body for the menstrual cycle and possible pregnancy, end it does that every month. Progesterone sets up the uterus for a fertilized egg, and once no egg is delivered to the uterus, progesterone reverses the process and causes menstruation.
Menopause is often regarded as the time of woman’s prowess, as she no longer has to worry about getting pregnant, or about her menstrual cycle, and she can devote her time to the things she is interested in. Many women find this period to be the period of their sexual re-birth.
Some women experience no complications or symptoms of menopause; they just go through the process and they’re done with it. There are some people who claim that this is due to these women “taking care of themselves” during the menstrual years, but this claim has little basis.
Perimenopause usually comes before menopause, and some women don’t ever experience it. Others experience perimenopause about four years before the menopause. During this period, the ovaris are less responsive to estrogen and progesterone, which can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, or prolonged cycles. It is estimated that only 1 in 10 women go through the menopause without experiencing any changes in their menstrual cycles.
Menopause and Ayurveda
As you probably already know, Ayurveda seeks answers to our health problems in issues with 3 doshas. Each of the doshas is believed to be in charge of a different part of our life.
Our childhood is affected by kaphadosha, as it influences growth. Adulthood is led by pitta dosha which is responsible for productivity. Our elder years are dominated by vatadosha, characterized by decrease and reduction.
Ayurveda suggests that the ending phases of each part of our life is when the next dosha starts accumulating its energy. This means that pitta dosha is increasing during early adulthood, and it shows in pitta rebellion during teen years.
With women, as they age, vata starts collecting energy in their forties, and even thirties, even though the body is still in pitta segment. This leads to subtle changes in metabolism, energy levels, and body image. This information can be used to get ahead of vata before it swoops in and makes a mess of our psycho-physical state. Menopause can be less of a nuisance, and just a natural shift with no side effects.
This can be achieved by paying attention to several aspects of our life:
Eating fresh, organic produce is the key element to a healthy life, and a smooth menopausal transition. Limiting or completely avoiding the intake of processed foods is also highly suggested. Regular meals and consistency are also very important. Consuming water and tea, and avoiding sodas, sweets, and store-bought juices is also one of the changes you must make in order to avoid the menopausal terrors.
Getting enough sleep is obviously very important for staying healthy. However, most people are unaware of when they should sleep. Sleeping during the day should be avoided at all cost, and it is best to go to bed early, and rise before 6 am. Once again, consistency is the key. Some form of physical activity is suggested right after you wake up, either a light run, or yoga. Avoid drinking coffee and spending time in front of a TV or a computer before going to bed.
Conserving energy, especially when you haven’t eaten in while, is a significant factor in getting through the menopause unscraped. Routine is the key element, so start your day with yoga, or a run, or just simply sit still for 15 minutes thinking about nothing. This will give you more energy for the day than coffee ever could. If you notice a lack of energy during the day, avoid taking a nap and go for a short walk, the fresh air should help.