One of the important phases in a woman’s life is menopause which marks the ending of menstruation. During the perimenopause or menopausal transition stage, women experience some unpleasant symptoms. These include mood swings, hot flashes, abdominal pain, back pain, vaginal dryness, etc. The intensity and duration of these symptoms differ in different women. Some women may experience these symptoms for a couple of years which can be daunting.
There are many treatment options that offer help to control and manage these symptoms in menopausal women, such as hormone replacement therapy. This is effective but has various side effects that shouldn’t be ignored. Hence, Ayurveda can be considered an ideal choice to ease symptoms of menopause without any side effects.
We spoke to Tammana Singh, Menopause Coach and Founder- Menoveda, who explained Hormone Replacement Therapy, its complications, and why women should choose Ayurveda as an alternative.
What is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
HRT is a treatment that replaces and reduces female hormone (oestrogen and progesterone) levels. This helps in easing the symptoms of menopause. While a lot of women consider this to escape discomforting symptoms, it is not the safest bet. One must assess the potential side effects of HRT beforehand. Here are some of them:
Risk of breast cancer
Studies have found that women who take HRT are more likely to develop breast cancer than those who do not. The risk of breast cancer is directly proportional to the period of time a woman takes HRT.
Also Read: Bone Health During Perimenopause: 6 Health Tips Every Woman Should Follow
Women who take oestrogen without progestin are at an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer. Thus, regular screening becomes very important for them.
Recent studies have found that women who take HRT are comparatively more likely to experience heart attacks, strokes and blood clots.
Other risks include bloating, headaches, anxiety, depression and breast tenderness, to name a few.
Given these risks and side effects, it is better to look for alternative treatments to manage menopausal symptoms. Ayurveda is an ancient practice that utilises natural remedies and lifestyle changes to promote health and well-being. It can also help in the management of symptoms of menopause.
Also Read: Hot Flashes At Work? Here Is How You Can Manage It
Ease Menopause Symptoms Through Ayurveda
Since menopause is a natural transition, it must be treated naturally for best results and what is better than Ayurveda for this? Here are some suggestions that Ayurvedic practitioners may recommend:
Increase the consumption of cooling foods like cucumber, melons and coconut; avoid hot and spicy foods, especially during summer as this can aggravate the symptoms
Use of herbs
Certain herbs like ashwagandha, Guduchi and Shatavari are believed to support hormonal balance which would eventually reduce menopause symptoms.
It is important to release stress and stay calm during menopause. This helps in averting mental and psychological issues during this phase. Meditating, doing yoga, performing self-care and indulging in hobbies and therapies, are some of the ways to overcome menopausal symptoms and discomfort caused by them.