Infertility is usually described as the failure to conceive despite regular sexual intercourse for more than 12 months.
In the typical Western medical paradigm, female aging, hormonal abnormalities, tubal-, uterine-, or endometrial-related conditions are common causes of female fertility. In men, infertility appears to occur due to poor sperm quantity and/or quality and spermatogenesis as well as erectile dysfunction.
For both sexes, psychological factors and pressures are important but rarely addressed. Ayurveda adds another unique element and contributes to the reproductive-karmic effects. We often see infertile couples where routine tests that include hormonal levels, sperm analysis, ovulation tests, and tubal patency are common. This accounts for 25-30% of all couples seeking help.
The complete evaluation for female infertility includes patient history, gynecological examination, a record of baseline temperature, vaginal and uterine cultures, ultrasound studies, hormonal analysis [i.e. follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)], -hysterosalpingogram with dye to detect fallopian tubes, and sperm analysis of partners.
Depending on the supposed cause(s) of female infertility traditional drug therapy can include any of the following:
- Gonadotropins in the case of hypogonadotropic ovarian failure
- Selective Estrogen Receptor Modifiers (SERMs) like clomiphene
- Prolactin inhibitors in the case of hyperprolactinemia
- Metformin in the case of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Рrоgestоgens, surgiсаl meаsures tо lyse аdhesiоns in саse оf endоmetriоsis
- Gоnаdоtrорin-Releаsing Hоrmоne (GnRH) in саse оf hyроthаlаmiс оvаriаn fаilure
However, the most familiar treatment offered for most women is in vitro fertilization (IVF) with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
Ayurvedic Perspective of Female Infertility
A woman whose artava is consumed is called vandhyatva (vandhya-barren, childless). This state being—vandhyatva—is the state most like to infertility in the Ayurvedic classification of conditions. Complete distinguishing and remedial plans were previously reported as early as 200 AD in the official Ayurvedic writing Caraka Samhita (chapter Cikitsa-sthana, Yonivyapat).
In the centuries that followed, specific texts on gynecology developed, including the Kashyapa-Samhita which contains related information on various diseases and gives a complete chapter on female infertility. As we shall see below, both samshamana (gentle) and samshodhana (strong) methods are advised for the treatment of infertility in Ᾱyurveda.
The main Ayurvedic therapy purposes are (1) the purification and (2) the functional optimization of reproductive muscles (artava- and Shukra-dhatu) of both sexes. According to Ᾱyurveda, reproductive fitness is primarily defined by the health of tissue metabolism and tissue nutrition, both being ultimate essentials for conception. The appearance of any attached tissue toxins will hinder treatment.
Therefore, overall panchakarma purification measures must almost always be the first step in the treatment sequence. Depending on the Prakriti (unique constitution) of the person these purification measures may involve emesis, purgation, medicated enema, blood cleansing, and several other special procedures related to reproductive health.
As Ayurveda is a holistic science, it is necessary to regularly consider the patient’s overall health status, including her mental health and living conditions. Importantly, the different feature of the Ᾱyurvedic approach to fertility is that it indicates improving the overall health of both the considered parents. Fertility therefore may result partly due to developed overall health. This method contrasts with the biomedical approach, which does not straight consider overall health and almost focuses on the reproductive tissues.
The Ayurvedic Treatment Approach to Female Infertility
Here is a brief explanation of some of the Ᾱyurvedic methods used and the logic behind them. Not every therapy is practiced for every woman and they are regularly modified according to the specific constitution.
Virechana (purgation): This method includes several days of internal oleation by using either pure ghee or a specially made medicated ghee accompanied by a soft herbal purgative. Purgation acts on increased and expanded pitta and Kapha doshas. It reduces the heat (ushna guna) of pitta and raises the coolness (sheeta guna) needed for the development of Shukra dhatu (ovum and sperm). Injured agni due to upset pitta is also improved by the virechana system.
A healthy and well-balanced dhatvagni (tissue agni) is needed for the dhatnirmiti of shukradhatu (creation of reproductive tissue). Hindering Kapha dosha is displaced through virechana and the blocked Apana Vata stopped by Kapha dosha is also helped by virechana. Common virechana dravyas: mahatiktaghrit, trivrit (leha or churna).
Anuvasana and Niruha Bastis (medicated enemata): These are two distinct types of medicated purgatives. The reproductive system present in katisthana (hip and loin region) is a region mainly controlled by Apana Vata. The work of Basti is predominantly on Vata dosha and pakvashaya (large intestines).
The uterus (garbhashaya) is made up of Vayu and akasha mahabhuta. In Basti, mainly tiktarasadravya (Vayu + akasha mahabhutas) despite being probably vatavardhak (Vata-increasing), are useful because they act as a medium and catalyst to deliver medicines to vatasthana (Vata regions). Sneha in Basti helps trans-membrane absorption of herbal medicinal elements. Since Basti is targeted at controlling the Apana Vata, it promotes the well-timed discharge of ovum and also the natural motion of sperms.
Uttar Basti (medicated intrauterine enema): Uttar Basti plays a very outstanding role in telling female infertility because it has a direct local action upon the reproductive tissues. The ovaries include receptors that get hormones emitted by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. The herbal medicines used in Uttar Basti excite and sensitize these receptors, so that proper ovulation happens in each cycle. It also helps to improve the receptivity of the genital region to the entrance of sperms.
Oral Herbal Medicines: While it is behind the scope of this article to explain the many individualized descriptions which can be practiced as part of the remedy for vandhyatva, it can be assumed that Ᾱyurvedic herbal formulas followed in these victims essentially target adaptogenic, rejuvenative, aphrodisiac, and overall strengthening (Ojo Vardhana) as well as strengthening of the reproductive tissues; they also are expected to develop digestion and insight as required and have distinct anxiolytic and antidepressant qualities.
The combination of Ᾱyurvedic treatments into new medical strategies for fertility has the potential to enhance patient outcomes with little to no downside.
You must consult an Ayurvedic clinic in Chandigarh before starting any ayurvedic treatment of female infertility because consulting with a specialist will give you proper information regarding the treatment or precautions related to female infertility. They will also alert you if there is any serious issue with your problem.