By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Menarche means the beginning of menstrual cycle or first appearance of bleeding through vagina in girls. Menopause means the cessation of menstrual cycle towards old age.
Changes seen during menarche and appearance of secondary sexual characteristics
With the attainment of puberty certain changes are seen in both girls and boys. Girls experience first menstruation as they hit puberty. This is called menarche and this may occur at different ages for different girls, few get it early few late.
After specific age, shukra or seminal ejaculation appear in boys. Similarly in girls, romaraji i.e. pubic and axillary hairs grow in specific age. Dalhana includes manifestation of menstruation and breast milk also as changes at menarche.
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According to a reference in Sushruta Sutra, due to accumulation of menstrual blood, there is gradual development of breasts, uterus and vagina along with vulva in the girls during menarche.
Kashyapa says that the yoni i.e. reproductive system of young girls is hina i.e. under-developed. Thus the menstruation does not occur in young girls. With the natural maturity of time and tissues, the menstruation occurs when the right time of its manifestation comes and marks the onset of menarche.
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Thus, the main changes during menarche is the appearance of secondary sexual characters which include –
– Manifestation of romaraji i.e. pubic and axillary hairs
– Artava darshana – menstruation
– Stanya pradurbhava – appearance of breast milk
– Stana garbhashaya yoni vriddhi – development of breasts, uterus and vagina
The menarche and development of secondary sexual characters in a girl is a new epoch in the girl’s life and marks the onset of menstrual cycles which would continue until menopause, every month.
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Age of Menarche, Menopause
Age of Menarche and Menopause according to Ayurveda
The age of menarche is said to be 12 years and the age of menopause i.e. cessation of menstrual cycles is said to be 50 years. Range of age may differ from woman to woman.
Kashyapa has mentioned the age of menarche as 16 years. This is also a probable description of appropriate age for conception. Kashyapa further emphasizes that the age can be influenced by specific diet, health and other factors may also influence.
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Arunadatta opines that the ages for menarche and menopause which are mentioned are just probable ages. There may be slight variation in individual cases as menarche may come at 11 years and menopause may be delayed beyond 50 years of age. These events need not occur as per rules.
Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu) – Email / Skype