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.
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Causes of infertility, according to Ayurveda
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
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.
Ayurveda for infertility recommends these top seven ways to promote a healthy lifestyle in order to enhance and manage your fertility.
- Maintain good lifestyle hygiene habits so as not to obtain any infections or viruses.
- Eat a good variety of organic, wholesome food made fresh to nourish your cells and help build healthy reproductive tissues.
- Be mindful of your digestion and avoid too much caffeine, alcohol and overconsumption of unhealthy foods.
- Choose joyful and happy life experiences to manage stress levels.
- Encourage the healthy development of the body’s tissues, including the reproductive organs, also known in Sanskrit as Shukra Dhatu in Ayurvedic medicine.
- Get good amounts of sleep!
- 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
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.
There are four main Ayurvedic treatments for infertility.
Treatment of Ama Toxins
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.
How does Sen Wellness Sanctuary approach Ayurveda for infertility?
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.