Fertility treatment in Ayurveda





Natural Fertility through Ayurveda

The desire for a child and urge to nurture them are innate in our biological system. The ability and inability to fulfill this instinct is having a great impact over human relations. Fertility and parenthood are psychosomatic conditions, so also their failure. Infertility is a serious issue in the present socio cultural scenario. It is estimated that 1/6th of the couples in the world suffer from infertility. Out of 100 infertility cases in India, 40% cases are due to male and female factors each and 20% due to both.

What is infertility and when we should get treatment?

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected regular intercourse. But this may vary according to age. If female is above 25 years and not conceiving after 6 month of unprotected sexual intercourse she should get treated. Similarly, treatment should begin within 3 months if the female is aged above 36 yrs. and within 6 months in case of Males above 40 yrs.

Infertility problems may be due to male factors or female factors or both. Infertility can be primary or secondary. Primary is a delay for a couple who have had no previous pregnancies. Secondary is a delay for a couple who have conceived previously, although the pregnancy may not have been successful (Ex: miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy).

The Ayurveda Approach…

As per the Ayurvedic approach, the Goal of human life is attained only when one begets a progeny. The pathologies that are seen in male and female reproductive systems have been separately mentioned in the specialties of Vaajeekaranam and Stree rogam.

Acharya Sushruta has described four essential factors for fertility

  • Beeja - seed : The active spermatozoa and the healthy ovum
  • Kshetra - place : The uterus where the fertilized ovum gets implanted
  • Ambu - water : Blood and nutrients to nourish the growth of fetus
  • Kala - season : The suitable time for fertilization.

The absence or imbalanced presence of any of these four factors can lead to infertility. Maternal and paternal beeja dusti (hereditary factors) have a major role in stree vandyatha (female fertility) and in purusha vandyatha (male fertility) respectively. Paternal beeja dusti can be considered as shukradusti.

Concept of male infertility in Ayurveda

In ancient time probably because there was no microscope, sperm and seminal fluid were not known as separate entities. Both are known as shukra dhathu: the reproductive - hormonal tissue that encapsulates essence of all other elements (tissues) in the human body. Any abnormality in the shukra dhathu leads to either infertility or congenital anomalies in the child.

Ancient physicians have described characteristic features of fertile shukra dhathu. Thus semen should be produced in larger quantities, should be thick and viscous in consistency, sweet in taste, with a sweet honey like odour, heavy and white in colour.

Susrutha Acharya has also described different types of abnormalities in semen including:

  • Kshina : congenitally less quantity
  • Alpa : decreased quantity due to any disease
  • Dushta : acquired pathology in quality
  • Vishushka : decreased quantity due to age

Male infertility has a wide variety of reasons. Fertility treatment in Ayurveda deals with these thru’ two streams - Physical Factors and Mental Factors.

Physical factors:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Improper Sexual act
  • Alcoholism
  • Smoking
  • Use of drugs & steroids
  • Excessive use of two wheeler vehicles will increase the temperature of scrotum there by affect the sperm production
  • Use of skin fit dresses also will affect the temperature of scrotum
  • Excessive use of high caloric diet such as fast food having more spicy, pungent, sour and salt tastes will decrease the production of semen
  • Vitiated semen in the sense, decreased amount of sperm, decreased amount of semen, and absence of sperm or structural abnormalities if sperm causes infertility
  • Side effects of treatment of major diseases

Mental factor:

  • Increased stress
  • Not having interest in sexual contact
  • Early ejaculation

Scrotal hyperthermia and infertility

The scrotal temperature is at least one degree cooler than body temperature. Sexual stimulation and desire does not raise sperm counts or motility of normal men or those with elevated scrotal temperature. The scrotal temperature of infertile men with varicocele is significantly higher than those of the fertile men. It is clear from many studies that increased scrotal temperature is detrimental to the normal sperm dynamics.

Psycho social aspects of infertility

Infertility is frequently perceived by the couple as an enormous emotional strain. Counseling may prove helpful as a part of the initial infertility evaluation, an adjunctive measure during treatment, or a final measure to help patients cope with acceptance of their infertility problem.

Very little is known about the effects of acute psychological stress on the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by human phagocytic cells and the interplay between subjectively perceived stress, mediating hormones, variations in the number of peripheral leukocytes and ROS production.

The equilibrium of saumya (peaceful) and teekshna bhava (aggressive) is very essential for the normal functioning of the reproductive system. Any derangement from this balanced state will lead to changes at the subtle level of this system. Any abnormal variation in soumya and teekhsna bhava of mind will cause derangement in the soumya and teekshna bhava of the reproductive system.

Manasika (mental) factors are in focus in today’s hectic life. Ayurveda gives equal weightage to these. Chintha (anxiety), bhaya (fear), shoka (depression), krodha (anger) are said to be the responsible for sukradushti.

Bhaya and shoka provokes the vata dosha and krodha provokes the pitta dosha. Moreover, they also disturb the process of digestion and causes indigestion. This will lead to malnourishment of dhatus and subsequently to sukradhatu. Psychosocial stress may depress testosterone level. Stress related to work or family, psychosomatic complaints may reduce the semen quality.

AyurVAID Protocol

The AyurVAID protocol addresses a variety of aspects while addressing infertility. Before starting the treatment;
  • The unhealthy lifestyle is normalized
  • Daily regimen & the regimens to be followed before sexual intercourse is advised
  • Diet – from all aspects – are dealt with in detail, according to Ayurveda concept.
  • Counseling playing a major role in infertility management

First line of approach to shodhana (cleansing)

Before commencing rejuvenating medicine, oelation (snehana) and fomentation (swedana) is given. This is followed by emetic therapy (vamana), purgation therapy (virechana), and enema therapy (vasthi). Panchakarma therapy is very useful for cleansing the body and the entire system.

Shamana line of treatment

Here according to the condition specific medications are suggested.

Ex.1: In case of Asthenospermia (reduced sperm motility), Vata samaka medicine should be given because aggravated Vata afflicts the quality of shukram, as they become weak and non motile.

Ex.2: In case of increased viscosity of semen, the treatment focuses on Kapha samana.

Rejuvenating and Vajeekarana treatment

After cleansing the body & correcting metabolism at reproductive systemic level, Vajeekarana begins with medicines mainly:

  • To improve production of semen, increase the quantity of semen, number of sperms, increase motility of sperm etc.
  • Correct erectile dysfunction.
  • To arrest premature ejaculation and early release of semen.
  • Purification of semen – In problems like disorders in liquefaction of semen high viscose semen, pyospermia, decreased motility of sperm and abnormal morphology of sperm etc.

Causes and managements of Female infertility

Vandhyatva (Infertility) is as independent a disease as it is a cardinal feature of so many other diseases. In Sushruta Samhita, the Vandhyatava has been included in twenty Yoni vyapada (garbhashaya roga). Acharya Charaka and Vagabhatta have referred Vandhyatva due to abnormality of Beejamsa (Gametes). Childlessness is described as Vandhyatva and is termed as Infertility in Modern Science.

Ayurveda deals with Female infertility also thru’ two streams, Physical Factors and Mental Factors.

Physical Factors:

  • Cervicitis
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Deranged genital tract
  • Amenorrhea
  • Reduced thickening of endometrium
  • Anovulatory cycles
  • Coital errors
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Tubal block
  • Abnormalities of uterine tract
  • Polycystic ovarian disease
  • Fibroid in uterus
  • Endometriosis

Mental Factors:

Stress may cause variation in hormonal production and thereby inhibit production of ovum and decrease the quality of ovum.

Management in female infertility

The treatment includes normalizing the daily regimens, and regimens to be followed on menstruation.

Ayurveda doctors first ascertain the exact cause of infertility. This helps in planning specific Ayurvedic treatment for infertility, in all the conditions. Garbashayaroga (uterine disease) do not originate in garbhasaya itself, rasadushti (dysmetabolism) also results in garbashaya rogas.

So at AyurVAID, we always correct the metabolism and then cleanse the system through panchakarma. Vata dosha is considered to be mainly responsible for yonivyapad (gynecological disorders). So basti treatment is adopted for treatment of yonivyapad. But local treatments play a very important role in ensuring fertility success.

For a healthy offspring, a healthy lifestyle and stable mind are a must. Only natural conception can produce a healthy offspring, and this is the only way we can contribute to a healthy generation.