Infertility is defined as an inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term, after one year of unprotected, regular intercourse. The cause of infertility can be traced to either or both of the male and female partner. Sometimes the cause of infertility remains unknown.
Female infertility accounts for 35-40 % of overall infertility. Treatment depends upon the specific identifiable cause. Ayurvedic herbal treatment of female infertility is discussed below.
Ovulation disorder is the most common female infertility factor. This most often occurs because of a disturbance in the reproductive system involving the hypothalamus (an area in the brain), pituitary gland, adrenal glands, thyroid gland, the ovaries and the uterus. This disturbed cycle can be normalized by using traditional Ayurvedic formulations like Chandraprabha Vati, Yograj Guggulu, Ashokarishta and Dashmoolarishta. Herbal medicines useful in this disorder are: Ashoka( Saraca indica), Dashmool (Ten Roots), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Aloes (Aloe vera), Guggulu (Commiphora mukul), Hirabol (Commiphora myrrha) and Harmal (Paganum harmala).
Ovulation problems caused due to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) can be treated using Latakaranj ( Caesalpinia crista), Varun ( Crataeva nuevula), Kanchnaar (Bauhinia variegata) and Guggulu. Thyroid gland disorders are treated using Arogya Vardhini, Kanchnaar Guggulu and Punarnava Guggulu. Adrenal gland disorders are treated using Gokshuradi Guggulu, Gomutra Haritaki, Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus) and Deodar (Cedrus deodara). Pituitary gland tumors (which secrete excess prolactin) may be treated with Kanchnaar Guggulu, Panch Tikta Ghruta Guggulu, Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Mogra (Jasminum sambac) and Musta (Cyperus rotundus). Diabetes is treated using medicines like Gudmar (Gymnema sylvestre) and Amalaki. Obesity is treated using Medohar Guggulu, Amalaki, Psyllium (Plantago ovata) and Lashuna (Alium sativum). Psychological stress is treated using Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi) and Vacha (Acorus calamus). Excessive exercise and weight loss too can result in ovulation problems.
Premature ovarian failure (POF), though comparatively rare, is an important cause of female infertility. This condition can be treated using Ashoka, Dashmool, Chandraprabha, Shatavari, Guduchi, and Jeevanti ( Leptadania reticulata). These medicines can be given in addition to hormone replacement therapy.
Blocked fallopian tubes, adhesions (scar tissue) and pelvic inflammatory disease may also result in infertility. Medicines like Kaishor Guggulu, Triphala Guggulu, Guduchi, Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa) and Punarnava can be used in these conditions. A treatment modality called “Uttar-Basti” may also be used for blocked tubes and minimal adhesions . Large fibroids and gross structural abnormalities are best treated surgically.
Cervical mucus can react with the sperm, either blocking penetration (usually due to an infection) or killing the sperm (because of the presence of antibodies). These conditions can be treated using herbal medicines like Vata (Ficus bengalensis), Ashwatha (Ficus religiosa), Udumbara (Ficus glomerata), Plaksha (Ficus infectora), Shirisha (Albizia lebec),Haridra (Curcuma longa), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Saariva and Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia).
Women who are underweight or have a small, undeveloped uterus or cervix can be treated using medicines like Shatavari, Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Vidarikand (Pueraria tuberosa), Ksheervidari (Ipomoea digitata), Bala (Sida cordifolia), Samudrashok (Argyria speciosa), Nagbala (Grewia hirsuta), Shrungatak (Trapa natans) and Yashtimadhuk.
Some women do conceive, but are unable to retain the pregnancy till full-term. This can happen because of an incompetent os (a loose opening of the cervix – the mouth of the uterus), genetic abnormalities in the fetus (unborn child), or because of an immunological reaction to infections (usually referred to as TORCH infections). Surgical ligation, along with other treatment and complete bed-rest, usually takes care of an incompetent os. Immunomodulatory treatment can be given using Guduchi, Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum), Brihati (Solanum indicum), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris), Bhrungraj (Eclipta alba), Yashtimadhuk, Pippali (Piper longum), Bharangi (Clerodendrum serriatum), Padmakashtha (Prunus cerasoides), Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata) and Manjishtha.
The ancient Ayurvedic texts mention various herbal formulations which can be given throughout the nine months of pregnancy to prevent abortion, and help optimum healthy growth of the fetus. Known physical and organ defects and genetic abnormalities running in the family, can be addressed using these medicines a few months in advance of attempting conception. For example, some couples may want to improve skin color, height or intelligence; yet others may want to avoid heart disease and lung problems like asthma, in their future children. Even healthy couples may make use of such herbal formulations.
This is, thus, a short description of the various causes of female infertility and their Ayurvedic herbal treatment.
Source by Abdulmubeen Mundewadi