By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Rutu Kala is the most important phase of menstrual cycle since it is the fertile phase of monthly cycle. This phase comprising of 12 days after menstruation is suitable time for conception.
If physical union takes place during this period between man and the woman who has taken bath and cleansed herself, got rid of old menstrual blood through periods, chances of conceiving the child will be more.
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Rutu kala – Proliferative phase with ovulation
Rutu Kala is the appropriate time for conception.
Indu, commentator of Ashtanga Sangraha tells – ‘Since the seeds i.e. sperms deposited in the vagina during this period are likely to bear fruit in the form of conception, it is called rtukala’.
It starts after menstruation.
According to different opinions –
– It is of 12 days
– Some authors opine that it is of 16 days
– It may be of entire month if vagina, uterus and menstrual blood are healthy
– Rutukala, sometimes may come without menstruation
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Dalhana further explains the controversy of mentioning 12 and 16 days. He tells that some authors consider first three days of menstruation, 12 days after menstruation and 16th day as Rutukala. When we count 12 days as Ritukala, the first three days of bleeding and the 16th day wherein there is constriction of vagina should not be considered.
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Kashyapa mentions that Ritukala is for 12, 11, 10 and 9 days for Brahmins, kshatriyas, vaishyas and shudras respectively.
Similarly with a small change in count, Bhavamishra mentions the number of days of rtukala as 12, 10, 8 and 6 days for Brahmins, kshatriyas, vaishyas and shudras respectively.
This explanation of rtukala on the basis of difference in duration for different castes by Kashyapa and Bhavamishra doesn’t have any scientific relevance. It might have been explained due to contemporary social structure of that time.
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The description of Rtukala seems to be a description similar to proliferative phase which ends with ovulation as explained by modern texts.
Considering the explanation of rtukala as given for entire month or even without menstruation and its specific importance being explained in terms of conception, it seems to be an explanation of ovulation period. Thus, rtukala can be closely compared to the proliferative phase of menstrual cycle including ovulation.
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According to modern medicine, the ovulation time is roughly around 14th day in a 28 day cycle. But variations have been seen, varying between 8th to 21st days. The life of ovum is said to be 18-24 hours after ovulation or after its release. If coitus happens between 12th and 16th day of the cycle the possibility of conception is more. The possibility of conception also varies with date and period of ovulation as already said.
In the process of formation of tissues, Sushruta says that for semen to be formed from rasa or food juices / nutrition juices, it roughly takes one month time. Similarly menstrual blood or ovum is formed in one month time in females from rasa tissue.
Sharangdhara also opines that menstrual blood is formed in one month time. The menstrual blood formed in a month can be correlated to the explanation of ovulation.
Why does conception happen only in Rtukala?
This is explained with the help of a simile. Just like a lotus flower closes after sun-set, after the rtukala, vagina of the woman gets constricted and does not accept the semen or permits the entry of sperms into the uterus. Thus there will be no chance of conception after rtukala or fertile period. Therefore the conception has to take place in the Rtukala itself.
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Effect on the child conceived after Ritukala
If conception happens after rtukala, the life span of the child shortens.
Simily – Just like the paddy sown after its appropriate season possesses fewer properties, is weak, unstable, unsteady, thin and fragile, the child conceived after the rtukala will be unstable and unsteady with short lifespan.
Rutumati Stree Lakshana
Rtumati Stree Lakshanas – characteristic features of women in fertile period of menstrual cycle
Definition of Rtumati stree (woman in fertile period of menstrual cycle) according to Charaka – ‘The woman possessing healthy vagina, uterus and menstrual blood i.e. healthy reproductive system and ovum, and has taken bath after the elimination of menstrual blood accumulated in the previous cycle and the new menstrual blood has taken its place i.e. after one menstrual cycle is completed and the new cycle has set in is called rtumati.’
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Below mentioned are the characteristic features of Rtumati Stree
– Peena prasanna vadanam – pleasant and healthy face / look
– Praklinna atma mukha dwijam – moistness of the body, face and teeth
– Nara kaamam – desires company of men
– Priya kathaam – loves to hear pleasing stories
– Srasta kukshi akshi murdhajam – laxity of flanks, eyes and hairs
– Sphurad bhuja kucha shroni nabhi ooru jaghana spichaam – quivering or twitching of arms, breasts, pelvis, umbilicus, thighs and hips
– Harsha param – happy
– Autsuka param – excited
Infertility advice pertaining to ovulation time:
In many infertility cases, both the spouses will be healthy but still conception fails to happen. One of the hidden causes might be timing of conception. Couple might not be sexually active during the “fertile period”.
Usually ovulation (release of ovum or egg) occurs in females, 14th day before menstruation. For example, if the menstrual period of a lady is of 30 days, then ovulation occurs on 16th day.
If the menstrual cycle of a lady is of 28 days, then ovulation occurs on 14th day. If the menstrual cycle of a lady is 30 days, then the ovulation occurs on 16th day.
If the menstrual cycle is of 32 days, then ovulation occurs on 18th day.
Hence, to have enhanced chances of conception, it is a good idea to be sexually active on the alternative days starting from 10th day of the cycle upto 20th day.
Alternate day or once in three days is recommendable than everyday, because, total sperm production and semen volume recovery might take 2 days.
For those seeking contraception:
Avoid unprotected sex between 10th to 20th day of the cycle, in the case of 30 day menstrual cycle.
Nature of child based on mood during conception:
According to Harita, the child will have similar satwika, rajasika or tamasika nature as that dominant in mother, if she follows all the hygienic advices of menstruation period.
The woman will give birth to a child who will have similar features of her father or brother or any person close to her heart, whom-so-ever she thinks of.
Master Bhela further explains that if the couple during coitus is happy, the born child will be satwika, if they are worried then the child will be rajasika and if they are sorrowful, they will beget a child who will be tamasika in nature.
Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu) – Email / Skype