Infertility should not be considered as a disorder; it is a condition in which a couple is incapable of conceiving, despite having unprotected sexual intercourse. In other words, you can mention it as a failure to give childbirth or inability to sustain a full-term pregnancy even after frequent unprotected coition (sex) for 12 months or more.
Female infertility is a commonly seen problem in today’s scenario. Many couples are struggling to have a child nowadays. Many times, this dream is fulfilled naturally, but in some cases, medical interference becomes necessary. As per the WHO data, 11.8% of women in India of the reproductive age group suffer from primary infertility. So, we will be providing you the Ayurvedic treatment for female infertility in this blog.
What are the Symptoms of Female Infertility?
- Abnormal periods: Bleeding is heavier or lighter than usual.
- Irregular periods: The number of days in between each period varies each month.
- No periods: You never had a period, or periods suddenly stopped.
- Painful periods: Occurrence of back pain, pelvic pain, and cramping.
As female infertility is related to a hormone problem, symptoms can also include:
- Skin abnormalities, such as more acne
- Changes in sex drive and desire or painful intercourse
- Dark hair growth on the lips, chest, and chin
- Loss of hair or hair thinning
- Weight gain
- Stress, depression, and overthinking
Symptoms of female infertility according to Doshas (body humor) aggravation
If Vata dosha is aggravated, dryness covers your body, which also results in sperm not sticking and thus not able to conceive. Other symptoms include:
- Dryness in the fallopian tubes to the vagina
- Dryness in the mouth of the cervix
- Hormonal Imbalance
If Pitta dosha is aggravated, there is a high temperature in the uterus, and sperm can’t survive to conceive, causing infertility. Other symptoms are:
- Excessive bleeding, inflammation, and pain
- Hot flow or burning pain in the uterus
- Small blisters, fibroids, or ulcers
If Kapha dosha is aggravated, women develop a cool sticky cyst or cysts in the uterus, which creates a problem (PCOS/PCOD) for the woman to conceive. Other symptoms are:
- Thickening of the uterus lining
- White discharge, irregular bleeding, or irregular periods
Ayurveda and Female Infertility
As per Ayurvedic texts, abnormalities of Vata and Shadbhava (Atma, Sattva/nature, Satmya/outcome of nature, and Rasa) can cause Bandhyatwa, i.e., female infertility.
What are the Causes of Female Infertility?
These ailments affect the release of eggs from the ovaries and hence become one of the causes of female infertility. It also includes hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome. Hyperprolactinemia can also be one of the reasons. It is a condition in which you have over secretion of prolactin (the hormone that stimulates breast milk production).
The over the top prolactin can also interfere in ovulation. Also, people having an excess of thyroid hormone or a lack of it (i.e. Hyper or Hypo-Thyroidism) can too suffer abnormal menstrual cycles and cause infertility.
Uterine or cervical abnormalities
Abnormalities with the cervix, polyps in the uterus, or shape of the uterus can also cause female infertility. Other than this, Noncancerous (benign) tumors in the uterine wall (uterine fibroids) can also cause infertility by blocking the fallopian tubes or stopping a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
Fallopian tube damage or blockage
It is caused by inflammation of the fallopian tube (salpingitis). This can result from pelvic inflammatory disease, which is usually caused by a sexually transmitted infection, endometriosis (a tissue grows outside the uterus instead of inside), or adhesions (tissues and organs don’t move and stick together).
Further, endometriosis may affect the function of the ovaries and Pelvic adhesions could be the result of pelvic infection, appendicitis, endometriosis, or abdominal or pelvic surgery.
Primary ovarian insufficiency (early menopause)
When the ovaries stop working and menstruation ends before age 40. Although the cause is often unknown, certain factors associated with early menopause are immune system diseases, certain genetic conditions such as Turner syndrome or carriers of Fragile X syndrome, and radiation or chemotherapy treatment.
Cancer and its treatment
Cancer is already a threatening disease and certain cancers, specifically reproductive cancers, often damage female fertility. Even its treatment can be harmful as radiation and chemotherapy both can affect fertility.
Hormonal issues lead to PCOS or PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome, which can be another factor why a female is unable to get pregnant. It is one of the most common causes of female infertility in today’s time.
Some women develop a situation that prevents the sperm from crawling through the cervical canal, which doesn’t allow the sperm to fertilize the egg.
What are the Risks Associated with Female Infertility?
Women’s fertility slowly diminishes with age, particularly in the mid-30s, and it declines rapidly after 37. Infertility in older women is likely due to the lower number of eggs and their weaker quality, and can also be due to the health problems that affect fertility.
Use of Tobacco
Smoking tobacco or marijuana by either partner may decrease the likelihood of pregnancy. It also degrades the potential effectiveness of fertility treatment, if ongoing. Miscarriages are seen to be more common in women who smoke.
Use of Alcohol
For women, there’s no safe level of alcohol use during pregnancy. Alcohol use may contribute to infertility.
An inactive lifestyle or being overweight may boost up the risk of infertility.
Even women with eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, or those who follow a very low-calorie or restrictive diet, are at risk of infertility.
A lack of body activity or exercise leads to obesity, which in turn boosts the risk of infertility. Ovulation issues can also be because of frequent vigorous or intense exercise in women who are not overweight.
Types of Female Infertility
There are 3 types of female infertility according to modern science and are given below.
- Primary Infertility – It is considered when a female is unable to get pregnant even after one year of having sex without the use of birth control methods.
- Secondary Infertility – If a woman had been pregnant at least once in her lifetime and now she is not able to get pregnant, then she will be categorized as a secondary infertility patient.
- Sterility – The inability of a woman to get pregnant by natural means is sterility.
Ayurveda categorizes Vandhyatva (Infertility) into 6 types
1. Garbha Kosh Bhanga (Uterus injury)
2. Anapatya (Primary infertility)
3. Kakvandhya (Secondary infertility)
4. Garbhastravi (Condition of repeated abortions)
5. Mrutvatsa (Repeated stillbirths)
6. Balakshaya (Loss of strength)
Yoga & Diet Tips to Treat Female Infertility
As we are well aware that yoga reduces stress, improves the circulatory process, removes toxins, and maintains healthy body weight. Thus, it can help in the management of infertility too. Here are some recommended Pranayamas and Asanas:
- Bhramari Pranayama
- Nadi Shodhan Pranayama
- Viparita Karani
For a healthy diet that can help in treating female infertility, try to eat Ojas (energy and immunity) building foods like milk, ghee, nuts, sesame seeds, dates, pumpkin seeds, honey, saffron, avocados, and fresh organic fruits and vegetables.
Even protein from plant sources like beans, peas, and whole grains are very beneficial. Spices like ajwain powder and black cumin are also considered to be effective for boosting female infertility. Turmeric is known to improve the interaction between hormones and targeted tissues and cumin is said to purify the uterus in women. These can also be considered as home remedies for female infertility but it individually can not work; it has to be combined with some Ayurvedic medicines for female infertility.
Diet to Avoid
- Avoid trans-fats as they block arteries, threaten fertility, and harm heart and blood vessels.
- Foods containing preservatives and other chemicals, like artificial sweeteners, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), artificial flavoring, and coloring should be avoided.
- Diets high in saturated fats like red meat and refined carbohydrates such as pasta, white bread, rice, etc can intensify the problem of infertility.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Female Infertility
Ayurveda recommends that relief in tension, body nourishment, strengthening of the immune system, nourishment of Dhatus, and balanced lifestyle significantly helps in the management of infertility.
No individual herb is considered useful for promoting fertility; a combination of herbs is used for its treatment with the purpose of solving the organic or functional problem that causes infertility.
It works on irregular menstruation, Dysmenorrhea, Anovulation, and improves fertility. Also, it regulates ovarian hormones, promotes healthy menstruation, and helps in combating PMS symptoms.
Dosage – 1 capsule twice a day with normal water after meals.
It acts on infertility, menstrual pain, and stimulates the urogenital system (reproductive and urinary system). Thus, it treats pains in the reproductive organs and is very effective in ensuring better reproductive health.
Dosage – 1 tablet twice a day with normal water after meals.
It reduces swelling and gives relief in symptoms of cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix/neck of the womb) and maintains a healthy female reproductive system, improving the chances of conceiving.
Dosage – 3 tbsp thrice a day directly or with the same amount of water before meals.
Infertility is managed by looking at the reproductive system components individually and as Ayurveda pays attention to each body system participating in the process of fertilization, so it serves as an excellent alternative for reaching fertilization.
Ayurveda also addresses the internal balances and external connections to resolve the problem by building immunity to improve the overall health of the individual. It stimulates the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, thereby, indirectly inducing the ovaries to ripen and release eggs.
Most importantly, Ayurveda provides a low-cost alternative to western medicines along with the low potential for side effects as it focuses on rebalancing body types rather than just treating diseases.