Artava Vyapad – Menstrual Disorders Explained In Ayurveda

By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Artava, in Ayurveda is a broad spectrum terminology. It includes study of menstrual blood, menstruation, ovum and ovarian hormones according to various contexts and in various references.
Read – Artava – Menstrual Blood Formation, Healthy Characteristic Features

In this context of Artava Vyapad, Artava will be discussed only in terms and meaning of menstruation.

Artava = menstruation
Vyapath = disorders
Artava Vyapath = disorders of menstruation
Read – Upadhatu Of Rasa Dhatu – Stanya, Arthava: Sub Tissues Of Rasa

Ashta Artava Dushti – Eight kinds of menstrual disorders as explained in Ayurveda.


Causative factor of menstrual disorders

Causes for menstrual disorders enumerated by master Kashyapa –

  • Administration of nasya i.e. nasal medicines to a woman in menstruation i.e. during menstrual cycle causes disorders of menstruation.
  • Excessive consumption of foods and drinks which are hot in quality and potency during menstruation
  • Use of excessive medicines for cleansing purposes by woman having soft bowel movements, the woman having been administered with oleation and sudation

Read – Gynecological Disorders Causes, Types As Per Ayurveda

In general it can be said that the specific causative factors responsible for aggravation of particular doshas, added with violation of rules and regulations related to maintenance of health of reproductive system would cause menstrual disorders in women.
Read – Ayurvedic Diet And Lifestyle During Menstruation (Periods)

Sanskrit verses


Classification of menstrual disorders have been done from two perspectives –

1. Classification of menstrual disorders on the basis of predominant causative dosha

Master Sushruta has enumerated 8 kinds of menstrual disorders. Most authors have followed similar pattern. They are as below mentioned –

  • Vataja – caused by vitiated vata
  • Pittaja – caused by vitiated pitta
  • Kaphaja / shleshmaja – caused by vitiated kapha
  • Raktaja – caused by vitiated blood
  • Vata-pittaja – caused by simultaneous dual vitiation of vata and pitta
  • Pitta-kaphaja – caused by simultaneous dual vitiation of pitta and kapha
  • Vata-kaphaja – caused by simultaneous dual vitiation of vata and kapha
  • Tridoshaja – caused by simultaneous vitiation of all three doshas

Read – Physiology Of Menstruation, Menstrual Cycle – Ayurvedic Perspective

Salient features of menstrual blood contaminated by doshas / eight menstrual disorders

It is said that the vitiated menstrual blood in all the above said instances does not possess the bija i.e. ovum. Thus, contaminated menstrual blood may meddle with fertility and conception.

Master Harita has mentioned the signs and symptoms and treatment of vataja, pittaja and kaphaja menstrual disorders in the chapter dealing with vandhyatva i.e. infertile women. This further explains that infertility is common in menstrual disorders.
Read – Menstrual Pain, Painful Periods – Natural Ayurvedic Herbal Home Remedies

The signs and symptoms including pain, color of menstrual blood etc in these disorders depend on the predominance of the involved dosha.

The signs and symptoms of menstrual disorders are similar to the similar eight type of seminal disorders i.e. shukra dushti explained by the same authors in earlier contexts.
Read – Hypomenorrhoea: Causes, Remedies, Ayurvedic Treatment

2. Classification of menstrual disorders on the basis of specific clinical features

Sl No Name of Artava Dushti Meaning Closer gynecological disorder
1 Vataja Caused by vitiated vata Oligomenorrhea with dysmenorrhea caused by nutritional deficiency
2 Pittaja Caused by vitiated pitta Inflammatory condition of reproductive organs due to infection, chronic pelvic cellulitis, associated with oligomenorrhea
3 Kaphaja Caused by vitiated kapha Chronic endometritis or cervicitis associated with oligomenorrhea
4 Raktaja / Kunapagandhi Caused by vitiated blood / has smell of dead body Early stage of endometrial carcinoma
5 Granthi bhuta Clots / cystic appearance in the menstrual blood Malignant disorders of reproductive system specially cervical carcinoma
6 Putipuya Menstrual blood appears like rotten pus Acute infection of reproductive system specially acute endometritis leading to pyometra
7 Kshina Menstrual blood less in quantity  Hypo-estrogenic oligomenorrhea caused by nutritional deficiency
8 Mutra Purisha Gandhi Menstrual blood has smell of urine and feces Cervical carcinoma (3 or 4th stage)


Treatment Principles of Menstrual Disorders

Menstrual disorders should be treated on the basis of predominant dosha involved in the pathogenesis.

Body cleansing in the form of therapeutic emesis and purgation and medicinal vaginal enemas are the best remedies for menstrual disorders.

Treatment strategies explained in treating the seminal disorders shall be implemented, especially oleation, sudation and rejuvenation therapies.

Local treatments in the form of pessaries and application of medicinal pastes prepared as per condition shall be used.

Suitable dietetic regimen should be followed.

Apart from these eight menstrual disorders, other forms of menstrual disorders are explained under different terms i.e. asrgdhara, nashtartava, artava kshaya, artava ativriddhi etc. The summation of all these conditions forms a comprehensive explanation of menstrual disorders.

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