‘Infertility’ is defined as not being able to get pregnant after at least one year of trying. Women who are able to get pregnant but then have repeat miscarriages are also said to be ‘Infertile’.
Pregnancy is the result of a complex chain of events. In order to get pregnant: a woman must release an egg from one of her ovaries (Ovulation). The egg must go through a fallopian tube toward the uterus (Womb). A man's sperm must join with (Fertilize) the egg along the way. The fertilized egg must attach to the inside of the uterus (Implantation). Infertility can result from problems that interfere with any of these steps.
No, infertility is not always a woman's problem. In only about one-third of cases is infertility due to the woman (female factors). In another one third of cases, infertility is due to the man (male factors). The remaining cases are caused by a mixture of male and female factors or by unknown factors.
Problems with ovulation account for most cases of infertility in women. Without ovulation, there are no eggs to be fertilized. Some signs that a woman is not ovulating normally include Irregular or Absent Menstrual Periods. Less common causes of fertility problems in women include: Blocked Fallopian Tubes due to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Endometriosis, or Surgery for an Ectopic Pregnancy, Physical problems with the Uterus, Uterine Fibroids.
Many things can affect a woman's ability to have a baby. These include: Age, Stress, Poor Diet, Athletic Training, Being Overweight or Underweight, Tobacco Smoking, Alcohol, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), Health Problems that cause hormonal changes.
Aging (usually after 35 years) decreases a woman's chances of having a baby in the following ways: The ability of a woman's ovaries to release eggs ready for fertilization declines with age; The health of a woman's eggs declines with age; As a woman ages she is more likely to have health problems that can interfere with fertility; As a women ages, her risk of having a miscarriage increases.
Doctors can find the cause of a couple's infertility by doing a complete fertility evaluation. This process usually begins with physical exams and health and sexual histories. If there are no obvious problems, like poorly timed intercourse or absence of ovulation, tests will be needed.
Finding the cause of infertility is often a long, complex and emotional process. For a man, usually semen Analysis is done to look at the number, shape, and movement of the sperm. Sometimes testing the level of a man's hormones will also be beneficial.
For a woman, the first step in testing is to find out if she is ovulating each month. Doctors can also check if a woman is ovulating by doing Blood Tests and an Ultrasound of the ovaries. Some common tests of fertility in women include: Hystero salpingography, Pap smear, Harmonal Assay, etc.
In Ayurveda, Infertility is compared with VANDHYATWA. According to Ayurvedic texts, the general causes of sterility or infertility are: Constituents of Garbha (Zygote/embryo/fetus); Rutu (Season/fertile period), Kshetra (Healthy Yoni, uterus and Passage, reproductive organs), Ambu (proper nutrient fluid, clarity of Hrudaya or psychology, properly functioning Vayu (normal Nervous System) and Sadbhavas (Mother, Father, Atma, Satwa, Satmya and Rasa). Abnormality in any one of these can cause infertility.
Coitus with a woman who is very young, old; chronically ill, hungry, sorrow striken and afflicted with other psychological abnormalities, or in humpback or lateral posture is futile; semen falling over Sameerana Nadi or in ouer part of Yoni also fails to impregnate the woman.
Congestion or organic defects in the reproductive organs can be cured only through surgery, but infertility due to functional or physiological causes is easy to cure through Ayurveda and its applications. The vitiation of doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha - any one of them, or all of them together-is likely to lead to infertility.
VANDHYATWA in Ayurveda is classified into three types according to Charaka, they are: Vandhya (Absolute Sterility), Apraja (Infertility in which woman conceives after treatment or Primary Infertility) and Sapraja (woman in her reproductive age does not conceive after giving birth to one or more children- Secondary Infertility).
Treatment of specific causes responsible for infertility such as treatment of all the gynecological disorders including injury to the uterus or its prolapse, diseases of Sukra, arthava and Yonyarshas should be done; forsaking other etiological factors such as abnormal diet and mode of life, coitus before or after Rutukaala, psychological troubles etc; use of strength producing and Brumhana foods to compensate loss of bala and dhatus; after using Abhyanga (Oleation), Swedam (Suddation), Vamanam (Emesis), Virecanam (Purgation), Asthapana Vasthi (Cleansing Enemas), Anuvasana Vasthi (Nutritive Enemas) in consecutive order. The other Speciality Treatments like: Yoni Prakshalanam/Douch(Herbal oils and Decoction are applied through the Vaginal route), Uttara Vasthi (Mode of application of Specialised Oils, Ghrithams into the Uterus), Pumsavana Karma (Speciality treatment for conceiving the Desired Child).
Researched Ayurvedic Medicines are also prescribed to the patient along with advices of specific diets like: Alkaline, pungent foods should be avoided; fruits and sweet substances should be consumed in large quantities. The diet should be adequate to meet all the needs of the body. Daily physical exercise and proper hygiene are recommended.
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