Ayurveda Infertility - Healing Principles of Health

Fertility problems are becoming increasingly common in the modern world, particularly amongst people living in urban areas. An estimated 15% of couples will have trouble conceiving (UCLA Health, 2020), while in the United States alone approximately 9% of men and 10% of women aged 15 to 44 have experienced fertility issues (CDC, 2013 and Office on Women’s Health, 2019).

Defined as the inability to conceive naturally through unprotected intercourse over an extended period (12 months or more), infertility can cause serious distress amongst those who are trying for a baby. At Sen Wellness, our Ayurvedic doctors are here to support you throughout your fertility journey and to help you restore a healing balance in your life.

Let’s delve a little deeper into some of the possible causes of infertility and the ways in which Ayurveda can help.

Ayurveda Infertility
How to understand Infertility?
Table of Contents

Causes of infertility, according to Ayurveda

"Soumyam shukram agneyam artavam"

Ayurveda Infertility
What are the causes of Infertility

Ayurvedic history has focused on the importance of treating infertility, its causes and the many treatments that can help achieve positive results.  

The reality is that there are a wide range of reasons why an individual might be having fertility difficulties and usually there is more than one contributing factor.

The physical causes in a woman may be due to a range of health issues, such as blocked fallopian tubes, premature ovarian failure, ovarian or cervical cancers, endometriosis or other menstrual cycle issues. The menstrual cycle is a key factor to consider when looking at the causes of infertility as it can be affected by age, lifestyle, diet, stress, mental health and physical activity. 

Male infertility can be caused by various conditions that impair sperm production or ejaculation, hormonal imbalance, tubular defects, and testicular cancer. According to Ayurvedic teachings, all of these conditions can be caused by a Dosha imbalance of Vata, Pitta or Kapha.

Traditionally, Ayurvedic teachings explain that infertility can be caused by a variety of leading factors such as:  

  • Bad nutrition, poor digestion or a toxic build-up in the body causing specific ailments.  
  • Low sperm count due to overeating spicy, salty and hot food.  
  • Infections or injuries to the reproductive organs.  
  • Overindulgence in sexual activity.  
  • Overly excessive control of sexual urges for extended periods.  
  • Genetics or hereditary predispositions.  

Busy, career-driven women living and working in cities are increasingly experiencing a number of these factors, exacerbated by heavy stress, an over-stimulated adrenal system, exposure to environmental pollutants, and a diet which lacks the nourishment needed to facilitate fertility. Their symptoms can be worsened by time spent in masculine work settings, disconnected from divine feminine energies. 

What’s more, more women than ever before are choosing to have children later, often after the age of 30. In their mid-thirties, some women experience hormonal, metabolic and endocrine imbalances that can affect their fertility, further complicating attempts to conceive.

Managing infertility with Ayurveda

“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear”

Ayurvedic principles aim to support your overall health by giving strength to the body’s independent healing, whilst balancing your energetic levels and mechanisms. Ayurvedic practitioners take a holistic approach to treating infertility, aiming to improve the overall health and vitality of the individual. 

Ayurveda strongly implies that diet plays a crucial role in the prevention and management and healing of ‘dis-ease’. Diet management involves a disciplined attitude towards food that increases what is known in Sanskrit as Ojas (where the physical, mental and spiritual health of the body intersect, responsible for overall health, energy and vitality), as well as avoiding the foods and substances that diminish Ojas. 

Ojas enhancing foods such as nut milk, ghee, nuts, avocados, fresh fruit and vegetables and proteins from plant sources can improve the interaction between hormones, whereas processed carbohydrates, starch, meat and processed dairy milk can negatively affect fertility.

A trans-fats-free diet can help to reduce blocked arteries, enhance fertility, and restore the heart and blood vessels. However, other foods that contain preservatives, artificial sweeteners, MSG, high fat or other artificial flavours and colours, as well as excessive alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, red meat and refined sugar or carbohydrates, are leading causes of infertility in Ayurvedic teachings.  

Optimum health can be achieved through living life with a healthy approach and choosing natural foods and products that don’t toxify the body or create added stressors and ailments. All of these can be very important factors when helping to balance ovulation and strengthen the fertilisation process. Eating well and living a healthy lifestyle can provide all the effective nutrients and management of infertility needed for health, hormonal balance and getting pregnant.  

Harnika
Dr Harnika, Sen Wellness Ayurvedic Doctor

Ayurveda for infertility recommends these top seven ways to promote a healthy lifestyle in order to enhance and manage your fertility.  

  1. Maintain good lifestyle hygiene habits so as not to obtain any infections or viruses.  
  2. Eat a good variety of organic, wholesome food made fresh to nourish your cells and help build healthy reproductive tissues.   
  3. Be mindful of your digestion and avoid too much caffeine, alcohol and overconsumption of unhealthy foods.  
  4. Choose joyful and happy life experiences to manage stress levels.  
  5. Encourage the healthy development of the body’s tissues, including the reproductive organs, also known in Sanskrit as Shukra Dhatu in Ayurvedic medicine.  
  6. Get good amounts of sleep!  
  7. Enjoy a massage (abhyanga) every day. This is particularly good if you are a Vata or Pitta type. If you are a Kapha then dry body brushing could be a good alternative. 

Treatment principles of infertility in Ayurveda

sam
Sam Kankanamge

Our founder, Sam Kankanamge, has over 25 years’ experience supporting women with fertility problems at the Sen Wellness clinic on Harley Street, London, alongside some of the world’s foremost professionals in the field of modern fertility medicine. 

He has translated this experience into a unique programme at the Sen Wellness Sanctuary, addressing a range of factors that contribute to infertility, including:

  • Biological, metabolic and hormonal imbalances
  • Emotional, mental and spiritual support
  • Nutritional health

Our programme also goes beyond Ayurveda infertility treatment to include other holistic approaches, such as acupuncture and cranial osteopathy.

All Ayurvedic therapy treatments aim to feed, rejuvenate, improve the immune system, and revitalise the mind, body, and soul. They can be helpful in reducing physical and mental discomfort by nourishing all the body’s dhatus, as well as helping to lower anxiety and eliminate impurities.

“Taking time for the things you love, finding someone trustworthy to confide in, learning how to release negative feelings and simply being kind to yourself, all help to stay positive and physically healthy. “

There are four main Ayurvedic treatments for infertility.

Treatment of Ama Toxins

The build-up of Ama toxins can also lead to the imbalance of Agni (or Digestive Fire) which can cause dis-ease in the mind and body. Thus, the treatment of Ama must include the treatment of Agni. A healthy Agni can therefore contribute to a healthy Ojas overall.

Vatanulomana

The main dosha attributed to infertility is Vata. Therefore, a treatment called Vatanulomana (correction of the functions of Vata) is a key treatment for infertility. Ayurvedic treatments formulate this with a rigid exercise routine and strict diet schedule.

Swedana

Swedana is a cleansing and stress-relieving therapy recommended for patients suffering from ailments such as asthma, weight, digestion issues, body inflammation and infertility. Based on the temperature, herbal mix and devices used to induce sweat, there are six forms of Swedana: Pinda Sweda or Navarakkizhi; Ooshma Sweda or Bashpa Sweda; Avagaha Sweda; Nali Sweda; Upanaha Sweda; and Patrasweda or Ilakkizhi. During all Swedanas, the sweat-inducing agent is carefully directed along the surface of the body. This movement gently dislocates the toxins inside and channels them to specific sites. This detoxification therapy helps in the expulsion of the toxins from the body and can help to correct ovarian, tubular and uterine problems causing infertility.

Panchakarma

Panchakarma procedures like Vamana, Virechana, Basti, Uttar Basti, and Nasya help to eliminate toxins from the body and strengthen the reproductive system by helping to correct ovarian, tubular, and uterine problems causing infertility. These procedures help to nourish the body, revitalise the mind, and strengthen the immune system. Scientific research suggests that secondary infertility (when a woman can’t get pregnant after having had at least one successful pregnancy) accounts for roughly 40% of female infertility, due to lifestyle factors. In Ayurvedic tradition, this is in relation to having proximity to the Vandhyatwa disorder. Ayurvedic infertility practitioners may recommend Panchakarma to women suffering from secondary infertility, with the intention of purifying the Doshas in the female reproductive organs. Snehapana is then prescribed for oral intake, followed by Virechana, a purge, to produce higher quality ovum.

Ayurvedic herbs used to treat infertility

As we’ve seen, infertility is very complex and often the result of one – or a combination – of undetected issues elsewhere in the body. That’s why Ayurvedic herbs are used as part of a treatment plan in order to tackle root cause(s).

The most common herbs used to treat infertility are Ashwagandha, Kapikacchu, Musali, Shatavari and Amalaki, all of which have extremely useful formations to help synergise hormonal balances between the Follicle Stimulating Hormone and the Luteinizing Hormone. 

Our Ayurvedic Doctors at Sen Wellness will be able to prescribe the right combination of Ayurvedic herbs to support you on your wellness journey and to help with specific physical and emotional ailments, including:

  • Regulating the menstrual cycle 
  • Enhancing your general health and wellness 
  • Revitalising sperm quality, quantity, and motility.  
  • Reducing stress hormones 
  • Enhancing sleep 
  • Easing anxiety or erectile dysfunction.  
  • Increasing energy  
  • Balancing the endocrine system to improve overall blood flow to the pelvic region and promote fertility.   
  • Bringing fresh oxygenated blood to the eggs  
  • Promoting hormonal balance by strengthening the feedback loop between the pituitary, hypothalamus, and ovaries, which controls the levels of hormones produced. 
  • Helping to restore natural balance to your body.
Ayurveda Infertility
Ayurvedic Herbs

How does Sen Wellness Sanctuary approach Ayurveda for infertility?

sen-wellness-sanctuary-rekawa-beach-sri-lanka-04-conde-nast-traveller-14feb18-pr
Sen Wellness Sanctuary

“Even miracles take a little time…”

The Ayurvedic approach to infertility treatment at Sen Wellness is holistic and sensitive to your individual needs, desires and constitution. 

By exploring how your physical health, lifestyle, diet and exercise regime impacts your fertility, we can also discover the root cause of any infertility issues, whether that may be due to anxiety, lack of sleep, lack of motivation or emotional imbalances.  

When you start to search down the Ayurvedic path, we firstly recommend that you obtain medical tests to determine if there are any genetic, hereditary, or physical causes affecting your fertility. We can then assess your health from an Ayurvedic perspective.  

Shortly after arriving at Sen Wellness, our doctors will tailor a comprehensive programme that will address your overall health and wellbeing on every level, including diet, lifestyle, stress management and exercise routines in line with the appropriate herbal therapies and Ayurvedic treatment.  

We understand that the process of conception can be arduous, complex and frustrating. It is difficult to know what route to take and if you have been unsuccessful for a while, it can begin to feel debilitating, disappointing, and painful. However, taking an Ayurvedic and holistic approach could be the first step in achieving the ultimate gift of a child.

Excellent4.8Based on 177 reviews from Heike M.Heike M.1708017780 ★★★★★ I stayed at Sen Wellness Sancutary for the festive retreat 23/24 - for me a 10 days commitment to complete immersion. I enjoyed every bit of it already at the Sanctuary! Now, back home and 40 days later, I am still profiting from the treatments, the experiences I made and my 40-days-practise that I started, as soon as I arrived home.Here is my deepest gratitude for the gifts I received during this retreat: a wonderful place, a kind, supportive, attentive and friendly team, support and grounding in my personal difficult moments, fantastic and soothing Ayurveda treatments (thanks to the doctors & massage therapists - always there with a smile and advice), delicious food, fascinating ceremonies (an unforgettable experience!), a lot of fun & laughter with other group members...Just to name a fiew.The biggest gift is, that I still have all this in my heart, that I can feel the connection to it. And that the practice of pranayama and meditation starts to become a routine! I hope, I can return to this unique place one day.Sally E.Sally E.1707933557 ★★★★★ My stay at Sen Wellness was exhilarating, from the dramatic colours of the sunsets to the naughty monkeys bouncing on the roof of our yoga room then leaping into the jungle. Best of all was watching, after a sunset walk over the wide empty white beach, newly hatched turtles hurtling over the sand to the ocean beyond. Good food, kind smiling staff, excellent and varied company from all over the world at the communal meals, massages, swimming pool, meditation, yoga, it was all pretty faultless and very inspiring.The serene and mesmerising Tseyang from Tibet provided me with a yoga programme I am actually keeping to.Jennifer M.Jennifer M.1707576319 ★★★★★ One of the most relaxing and intriguing stays I’ve ever had. From the moment you walk in to the moment you leave, the hosts and staff anticipate and provide for your every need.The creative Vegan meals, yoga, meditation and daily treatments make this retreat a must-do for anyone who wants to experience an absolute gem.Melbin A.Melbin A.1707565341 ★★★★★ I recently attended a 14-day Ayurveda and Yoga retreat at Sen Wellness Sanctuary, and I can confidently say it was the best decision I made in 2024!The sanctuary is nestled in a truly enchanting environment, providing a perfect blend of calmness and nature. Being located next to Turtle Beach added a unique touch to the overall experience, making it an ideal destination for anyone seeking serenity and relaxation.The staff at Sen Wellness Sanctuary is exceptional. From the moment I arrived, I was greeted with warm smiles, and their hospitality throughout my stay was beyond compare. Special shout-out to Sudheera, Sanath, the Manager, whose dedication to ensuring a seamless experience stood out. Frances,The wellness Manager with her beautiful soul, Tsayang, my Yoga guru, Gopi, my transporter, and the entire team, including Kavindu, Dr. Tarushi, Dr. Udari, Mahil, Madhu, and many more, contributed to making my stay truly memorable.The food was another highlight of my experience. Traditional Sri Lankan dishes, rich in veggies and fruits, were served daily, creating a culinary journey that added to the overall wellness experience.One of the most rewarding aspects of my time at Sen was the opportunity to make new friends from around the world. Connecting with like-minded individuals enhanced the entire retreat experience, and I left with a profound sense of personal evolution.In conclusion, Sen Wellness Sanctuary is more than just a retreat; it's a haven for personal growth and well-being. I completed the program with a genuine feeling of having evolved into a new person. I highly recommend Sen to anyone seeking a transformative and rejuvenating experience.Thank you, Sen Wellness Sanctuary, for the exceptional hospitality. I look forward to returning in the future!Linda D.Linda D.1707311735 ★★★★★ I have spent time in very austere ashrams through to very high end spa retreats but, Sen Sanctuary is in a league of its own, it is the only place I have ever been where I haven’t for one moment thought, what am I doing here? It is unique in its ability to blend wellness, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, diet and joy in a relaxed, unpretentious and thoughtful environment. Every member of staff is there to guide you on your way ,all you have to do is turn up with an open heart and mind!I first went there in March 2023 having met the amazing Dr Sam in London and I returned again in January 2024, both times unique, both times wonderful. I have no doubt I will go back again and again.Sen Wellness Sanctuary is a place built with love and integrity straight from Dr Sam’s heart to every one who has the great good fortune of staying there.Anne S.Anne S.1705512394 ★★★★☆ Wir haben fünf Tage im Sen Wellness verbracht und die Zeit sehr genossen. Die Anlage befindet sich direkt zwischen Meer und Lagune (Achtung - die nächstgelegene Badestelle ist etwa 35 Minuten zu Fuss entfernt!), einige der Zimmer direkt neben einem Mangrovenwäldchen. Ein grosses Kompliment geht an die Therapeutinnen, die mit viel Engagement und Erfahrung die Ayurveda-Behandlungen durchgeführt haben. Das Essen ist gut - allerdings nicht streng ayurvedisch (also auch nicht auf die individuellen Bedürfnisse angepasst), das sollte man vielleicht wissen. Die allgemeinen Aufenthaltsräume sind neu renoviert und mit viel Liebe zum Detail hergerichtet. Die - verhältnismässig eher teureren - Apartements sind mittlerweile etwas in die Jahre gekommen (sollen wohl aber in diesem Jahr renoviert werden). Alles in allem eine sehr schöne Erfahrung, die ich wirklich gut weiter empfehlen kann!Ryan S.Ryan S.1702232215 ★★★★★ First of all, I’d like to thank everyone working at this place for making it so magical. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here and found it so incredibly rejuvenating - from the organic food, top notch Ayurvedic massages, health advice, breathwork, yoga, community.. the retreat is truly unique and unmatched.. it’s really a place that welcomes everyone and caters to each and every person’s needs. I loved connecting with others on the retreat too. I stayed for 3 short nights, but will remember the experience for a lifetime.Elisa B.Elisa B.1701430042 ★★★★★ I just came back after spending a week at Sen Wellness, and the experience was above my expectations.The location is beautiful, immerse in nature and with an amazing beach available.Yoga and meditation classes vary every day, and I can say I learnt so much.The main feedback I’d like to leave is about the team: all of them did everything in their power to make us guests happy, they personally cared about our wellbeing.I can say I came back relaxed, but also changed and nourished internally, I’m looking at problems with a different perspective.I am already planning to be back!Pia S.Pia S.1697801887 ★★★★★ All I could have asked for in an Ayurveda retreat. Beautiful place and nature, with lovely people and a lot of thought and intention in the programs.Richard SRichard S1697016861 ★★★★★ hat an incredible place and lovely team and special stay. Situated between the beach and the lagoon you are surrounded by wildlife and feel completely isolated from the outside world. The treatments, food and yoga/meditation work together to ensure an incredibly restorative and nourishing stay. Ten days seemed a good length of time to stay to maximise the benefits.Thank you to all the team at Sen for a magical stayMithi T.Mithi T.1694508202 ★★★★★ Heaven on earth. A must-visit if you wish to disconnect and self-connect.Irene Boñal B.Irene Boñal B.1693817075 ★★★★★ I came for the second time to this place and it can never disappoint… a truly healing place where you can connect with yourself and with others. I have met some amazing people here both times I have come. The staff really care and worry about you. Thank you ♥️ the first time’s review (last year’s) is just below which still applies.Mind-blowing experience. I am so happy I came to this place - I was planning for 5 days and stayed 10! All the team made me feel like home since I arrived. The kitchen staff are super nice and the food is amazing and healthy! The doctor and masseurs listened to me and gave me a therapy adapted to my needs from the very first day. The doctor, managers and reception were also always there for everything I needed. The yoga teachers are amazing healers that guided me through my journey in the sanctuary and for my home. I know I’ll apply their yoga and spiritual teachings in mind for my daily life. On top of that, a monk comes every week to have a 1-to-1 session with you. Personally, this was a very productive session for me!Moreover, the mini pool in the beach has an amazing sunshine - I’d recommend everyone to go one morning when in here!Amazing place to reconnect with myself which is what I was looking for. I’ll definitely come back😊Elaine L.Elaine L.1693770775 ★★★★★ The most nourishing, relaxing and healing week I have ever experienced in the most beautiful setting!! 7-day Ayurvedic and Yoga retreat left me feeling like a new person. I will definitely be returning.Jill L.Jill L.1693328040 ★★★★★ My two trips to the Sanctuary were equally special. Both were in January, one in 2016 and then again in 2020. It was a perfect way to start the year. The sheer beauty of this part of Sri Lanka is restorative in itself, but when coupled with the luxury and care of the Sanctuary, it becomes a deeply healing experience. I will go back again as soon as I can.Di S.Di S.1693132092 ★★★★★ I arrived exhausted and frazzled from a flight that had lost my bag in transit with the clothes I left London in and raging sinuses from the plane's insanely fierce aircon. Within days the sinus infection was healed with Ayurveda. This was the start of a 10 day healing journey that was pure magic. I stayed in an eco cabana - bed super comfy! - waking up to amazing birdsong. The nature here is lush (bring your mozzie spray!) , the complex open and airy, the food delicious (mainly veggie). Everyone on the team - from the Ayurvedic doctors and practitioners, the amazing manager, the chef and his crew, the yoga teachers to the boys who do the cleaning know what they're doing and radiate positive energy. Days are structured but the vibe is relaxed, open and easy. The Cacao ceremony was amazing. The Fire ceremony also. I'd go back in a heartbeat.js_loader

Author

Sam Kankanamge
Sam Kankanamge

Sam Kankanamge BSc (Hons) Osteo, DPO, Dip.Acu is an exceptional, world renowned healthcare professional, with over 25 years-experience transforming patients’ health.