Female Fertility – An Ayurvedic Perspective

Fertility is defined as the ability to produce offspring. Your age determines the level of fertility. Healthy reproduction requires a healthy egg, but eggs become more scarce as you age. Females are born with about a million eggs, but most of them never mature. By the time they reach puberty, eggs reach down to half of their original quantity, and the number continues to fall each year. And not every egg that survives can make a baby. Even in your prime, about half of all eggs have chromosomal abnormalities, and the proportion of eggs with genetic problems increases as you age.

Your fertility will be at its peak between 23-31 years. After 31 years fertility starts to drop more quickly, and the chance of conception also decreases. According to a report by the International Institute of Population Sciences, infertility was growing at an alarming rate, especially in metros.

It has been estimated that, globally, of the 60-80 million couples suffering from infertility, about 15-20 million are in India alone. Similarly, experts point out an alarming growth of infertility among young Indian women over the last decade. The rising statistics is due to social changes that have been taking place over the past decade-and-a-half.

Nowadays because of unhealthy lifestyle choices, women are prone to diabetes, hypothyroidism, obesity, etc., at very early age, which affect their fertility level.

The most common causes of female infertility are ovulation problems and blockages to the fallopian tubes as a result of infection.

  • Ovulation problems can happen as you get older because you have fewer good quality eggs left, making it more difficult to conceive. Your number of eggs declines with age.  
  • Few may go through menopause earlier than usual, and stop ovulating before they reach the age of 40. This is medically termed as Premature ovarian failure.
  • Your periods may become irregular due to hormonal imbalance.
  • Blockages to the fallopian tubes may be caused by infection or other conditions.
  • Few medical conditions that can affect fertility include endometriosis, fibroids, PCOS,etc.
  • If you are overweight, it can make it more difficult for you to become pregnant. Being overweight might be the result of unhealthy food habits or sedentary lifestyle or due to PCOS or Hypothyroidism.

According to Ayurveda, there is a simile which emphasises the essential factors for conception. As the four factors – Rutu (season/ time), Ambu (water), Kshetra (Cultivating land) and Beeja (fertile seeds) are very essential to get a healthy crop, similar factors in the human body need to fall in sync to beget a healthy progeny.

  • Rutu – Signifies the time. It suggests the age of an individual and ideal time for successful fertilisation. For female mid 20s is considered as the ideal age to get pregnant. The best times to get pregnant fast and to conceive are the 4-5 days prior to ovulation, and the day you ovulate. Ovulation is the time when the mature egg is released from the ovary. During the following 12 to 24 hours the egg is alive and ready to be fertilised. But sperm have to be there already to fertilise the egg. If no sperms are there then fertilisation cannot happen.

Time of Ovulation – The time of ovulation for each individual is different. It is commonly considered that ovulation occurs around the 2 weeks after the end of a woman’s last menstrual cycle but it can happen on many different days. The more accurate way to calculate ovulation on a calendar would be between the 12th and 16th day before your next menstrual cycle is set to begin. These calculations are based upon a woman who experiences regular menstrual cycles between 28 and 32 days apart.

There are other fertility signs that you should pay attention to as well.  Many women notice lower abdominal pain around the time they ovulate. If you monitor this from month to month you can use these pains as an indication that you are ovulating.

Another way to detect your ovulation is by checking your temperature every morning prior to getting out of bed.  When your temperature starts to go up you will know that your body is ovulating and your chances of conception are good.

During this fertile period, if you try for conception the chances of getting pregnant is maximum.

  • Ambu – Signifies the body fluids. It includes rasa, rakta, ojus and hormonal balance in the body. It is ideal to consume a healthy, balanced diet rich in minerals and essential vitamins before pregnancy itself to maintain healthy body fluids, which will be ready to nourish and sustain the embryo if there is a pregnancy.

Stress, trauma and anxiety said to affect the fertility due to hormonal imbalance. Constant stress stimulates body to secrete more cortisol which impairs the brain activity affecting the reproduction. Women who previously had difficulties with conception suddenly conceived after resolving stress. Hence, it is very important to keep yourself calm by meditation, yoga, pranayama, etc.

  • Kshetra – Signifies the place or field. It includes the whole body as well the healthiness of the uterus. Uterus with clear passage and patent tubes are essential for successful fertilisation and implantation. Uttara Basti ensures the healthy uterus and tubes.
  • Beeja – Signifies the seed. It includes the healthy ovum and sperm. Good, healthy eating habits and lifestyle, staying away from alcohol, smoking and environmental pollutions ensures healthy ovum and sperm.

Preparation of the body for proper conception

According to Ayurveda, purificatory procedures and few herbal supplements help you to get a healthy child by stabilising the above said fertility factors. Purificatory procedures are Panchakarma procedures, which helps to remove obstruction in the body channels, toxins from the body and  re-establish the health of the reproductive tissues.

It includes Snehana (oleation), Swedana(fomentation) followed by Vamana (Emesis), Virechana (Purgation), Asthapana (decoction enema) and Anuvasana vasti (oil enema). After these procedures the woman is advised to take the foods processed with masha (black gram) and tila (sesame).

Benefits of shodhana in female reproductive system

  • Biological systems return to normalcy.
  • Revitalises body tissues
  • Potentiates pharmacological actions of internal medicines
  • Removes toxins
  • Improves physiological functions and gut absorption. Also, improper metabolism is corrected
  • Mental faculties, strength and vitality are enhanced
  • Fine tunes the endocrine system (hormonal balance correcting hypothalamus-pituitary- ovarian axis).
  • Promotive-promotes fertility, preventive-prevents recurrence and curative- cures from the root and rehabilitative too.

The woman after her detoxification of body is made to follow the abstinence, self-discipline and self-denial for the 1st three days of menstruation, which makes her to relax both physically and mentally. On the 4th day of her menstrual cycle onwards she should try for conception.

Herbs and medicines which improve female fertility are shatavari, ashoka, kumari, Lodra, Garbhapal rasa, Nasta pushpantaka rasa, Raja Pravartini vati, Kalyanaka ghrita, Phala ghrita, dadimadi ghrita, Shatavaryadi ghrita.

If you are trying to conceive a baby, it is advisable for you to prepare yourself both physically and mentally prior through Ayurveda. It is recommended to have intercourse every other day around the suspected time of ovulation as it offers the highest chance of pregnancy.

Welcome the joy of motherhood naturally.

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3 thoughts on “Female Fertility – An Ayurvedic Perspective

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