Role of Ayurveda in management of Polycystic Ovarian syndrome
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition resulting from hormonal imbalance. The condition got its name from the fact that cysts are found on the ovaries of quite a number of affected women. It is a result of the superfluity of male hormones in women and it also impacts the reproductive system which is considered a prominent cause of infertility in women. PCOS also affects the body and its ability in managing blood sugar as well as heart functions. It can affect the body in more ways than one which includes delayed period, excess facial / body hair, etc. The cysts that appear in women with PCOS are in fact fractionally developed follicles with egg and is not found in every woman with this condition.
Ayurveda is far more than a treatment plan but a way of healthy living and healing. According to Ayurveda, gynaecological problems are a result of imbalanced hormones, stress factors, improper lifestyle, and an unhealthy diet. Before going into detail about the treatment, the patient is first analyzed to understand their body type and history. The most common gynaecological problems are irregular menstruation, painful/excessive bleeding, white discharge, etc. Ayurveda treatment for gynaecological issues is aimed at balancing the hormones, regulating metabolism, uteral strengthening, and boosting fertility.
As PCOS is a condition that includes a group of syndromes, it is diagnosed by checking the history of the menstrual pattern of any suspected patient as mostly they will be faced with irregular or no periods. A blood test is also prescribed to check on androgen levels as an elevated androgen level mimics the sign on PCOS. Testosterone value is also analysed. Other tests used to detect PCOS are the Glucose tolerance test, Lipid profile test, and test to find out insulin levels are few.
Treatment for PCOS as per Ayurvedic principles is aimed at clearing pelvic obstructions, managing metabolism, and supporting “Shukra Dhathu” / Ovulation balancing menstrual patterns (Aarthava Dhathu) by restoring its natural rhythm. Herbal medicines for treating PCOS have shown immense results in ovarian volume reduction. Medicines used to treat PCOS usually are Triphala, Dashamool, Guggul, Kanchanar, and Trikatu. Other herbs that have proven the ability to help grow eggs and rupture follicles naturally are Shatapushpa and Shatavari.
Depending on the type of dosha imbalance based on the symptoms, the doctor recommends Ayurvedic detoxification therapies and medicines that need to be followed.
Panchakarma is a deep purification therapy that helps boost Ojas / vitality, fertility, and immunity. Five detoxification procedures are performed in a sequence to channel the toxins to exit channels and flush them out systematically.
- Uttar Basti / Herbal Enema for the Uterus
Herbal concoctions and infused oils are used to perform Uttar Basti to regulate Apana Vata. This is done to restore the ovulation back to the normal cycle, strengthening the Uterus which results in the fertilized egg being implanted successfully.
- Virechana / Herbal Cleansing
Virechana is aimed at Pitta dosha imbalance and is the detoxification process to support liver cleansing.
- Vamana / Emesis (Vomiting)
Herbal concoctions/oils are made to consume by the patients to help eliminate Kapha dosha imbalance. This process is aimed at cleansing the upper digestive tract. Vamana helps regulate hormone balance and ovulation.
- Nasya / Nasal Cleansing
Medicated oil/ghee is administered through the nostrils to clear the Vata dosha imbalance.
Infertility is primarily a reproductive system disorder. Male and female factors equally contribute to infertility. In females, infertility may result from a varied number of factors like uterine-related problems, ovarian problems, age factors, tubal problems, etc. Whereas in males, infertility may result from factors affecting sperms such as its production or transportation. The reasons may be infections, hormone imbalance, tumours, tubule issues, etc. Infertility treatment in Ayurveda keeps its focus on healing the overall health holistically by balancing tridosha and curing agnimandya (impaired digestive fire).
- Agni Deepana & Ama Pachana
Ayurveda considers every disease occurring in the body as a result of toxin accumulation (Ama) due to an imbalanced digestive fire (Agni). This is why the ayurvedic treatment plans for ama elimination always need to be followed by rekindling the Agni as well.
Infertility is caused mainly due to a Vata imbalance. Hence Vatanulomana which translates to correction of Vata related imbalances is a vital treatment in infertility. Ayurvedic medicines, along with a proper diet and regular exercises will help to balance Vata dosha.
A number of detoxification therapies are followed in Ayurveda where herbal decoctions or medicated oil are administered to the patient to promote toxin elimination from the body through various channels. Removal of toxins helps correct the existing imbalances in various organs.
In essence, Ayurvedic treatment for gynaecological issues focuses on deep detoxification of the body, leaving it nourished and revitalized. The treatments help relieve stress, boost the immune system, reduce stress, and balances Vata dosha.
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