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The World Health Organization (WHO) calls infertility “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.”
Infertility can occur in both women and men. Primary infertility is infertility in a couple who have never had a child, while secondary infertility is failure to conceive following a previous pregnancy. A woman who doesn’t conceive and/or is unable to carry a full-term pregnancy is labeled as infertile.
Causes of infertility in women
Infertility in women is caused by many factors like infections and ageing amongst others like the following:
- High FSH - Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland in the body. It stimulates follicle growth in the ovary and causes the eggs to mature for fertilization. FSH levels increase with age and high FSH levels in blood can mean that the ovaries are not functioning too well and hence it can be a likely reason for infertility.
- Blocked fallopian tubes - Blocked fallopian tubes or ‘fallopian tube obstruction’ is the biggest reason for infertility in women. We all know that fertilization happens inside the fallopian tubes, so an obstruction here means an absence of fertilization and pregnancy.
- Endometriosis - Women with endometriosis experience a drop in fertility by almost 12-35%. It is a condition where the lining of the uterus starts growing, not in the uterus, but elsewhere in the abdomen i.e. ovaries, fallopian tube and the pelvic area.
- Fibroids- These are non-cancerous tumours inside or around the uterus.
- Age- The biggest reason for infertility in women is their age. If a woman’s age is 35 plus, her ovaries do not function properly and release less eggs, which are not very healthy.
- Hormonal imbalance - These cause ovulatory malfunctions and poor egg development.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) - PCOS is a type of hormonal imbalance, which leads to production of excessive male hormones in a woman’s body, thereby causing infertility.
Can Ayurveda boost fertility in women?
According to Ayurveda, infertility arises when ‘shukra dhatu’, which produces eggs in women and sperms in men, is weak due to lack of proper nutrition. This could be due to poor digestion or an absence of a balanced diet or due to the presence of ‘ama’ or toxins in the body.
According to Ayurveda, sexual indulgence and promiscuity can also cause infertility due to the decrease in ‘shukra dhatu’.
Ayurvedic fertility enhancers for women
- Ashoka – It stimulates the endometrium found in the uterus and ovaries and aids in ovulation.
- Lodhra – It cures all female disorders that stop conception and regulates levels of reproductive hormones like FSH and LH, which are essential for conception.
- Shatavari – It nourishes the ovum or egg and enhances fertility as it contains estrogen-like compounds.
- Gokshura – This herb is helpful for both men and women. It works as a fertility tonic in women by stimulating the ovaries and thus cures PCOS, a leading cause of female infertility.
Ayurveda also recommends a diet rich in food items like ghee, milk, almonds, walnuts, sesame and pumpkin seeds to improve overall health and thus enhance levels of ‘shukra dhatu’ in the body. Since ‘vata’ dosha is closely associated with the reproductive system in women, Ayurveda also assigns a lot of value to its regulation for proper ovulation and stress control. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an ayurveda.