Female Sterility

Female sterility can be defined as the inability to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse.

Sterility in females is a result of either the impairment of the ovary, uterus, fallopian tubes, or hormones controlling the functions of these organs as well as diseases suffered by the would-be mother.

Defects in the genital organs may be structural (organic) or functional. To correct the organic defects, surgical measures have to be taken.

Ayurveda and Female Sterility

The conception of a child takes place with healthy sperm, healthy sperm and a healthy uterus. The reproductive health of men and women depends on strength of reproductive tissue called shukra dhatu. In women, shukra dhatu is seen as the egg that’s part of the monthly cycle and in men the semen makes up the shukra tissue.
The shukra dhatu is the product of a long line of metabolic transformations which start with the digestion of food and then the nutrients being transformed into blood, muscle, fat, bone, bone marrow and finally, to shukra tissue.

This means that the health of all the other tissues (dhatus) in the body directly impact the health of the shukra dhatu.

Vandhyatva (vandhya meaning barren, childless) is the closest term for defining female sterility in Ayurveda.

Functional defects of the organs and tissues caused by the simultaneous aggravation of all the three doshas can be successfully treated by Ayurvedic medicines.

Ayurvedic anatomy of the female reproductive system
In Ayurvedic anatomy, ‘shroni’ refers to the pelvis. Female pelvis is considered to be 24 angulas. It is heavier as compared to the pelvis of the male. As per Ayurvedic anatomy, there are three srotas (channels of circulation) in female’s body –

  • Rajovaha Srota (channels of circulation dealing with menses): They include garbasahya (uterus), cervix and yoni (vagina) along with their blood vessels.
  • Artavaha Srota (channels of circulation dealing with menses): They include ovary and fallopian tube along with their blood vessels.
  • Stanyavaha Srota (channels of circulation dealing with milk): They include stanya (breasts) along with its blood vessels.
    ‘Ashaya’ refers to any organ. ‘Garbhasaya’ means uterus and is situated behind the ‘bhagasthi’ (anatomically known as symphysis pubis) and a little above the bladder. ‘Yoni’ is used to describe the female genital tract.

Types of female infertility according to the classical Ayurvedic texts
Vandya: Completely sterile, incurable
Apraja: Can fall pregnant, curable
Sapraja: Become infertile after having already conceived one or more children

The menstrual cycle can be affected by a variety of factors such as poor diet, emotional instability, extreme physical stress, imbalanced lifestyle, etc. which can cause the doshas (Ayurvedic biohumors) to lose equilibrium.

Vata dosha: This is the dosha associated with the elements of Air and Space. The following symptoms will manifest in case of a Vata imbalance.

  • Dryness in the mouth of the cervix, fallopian tubes and vagina (this dryness causes sperm not to stick)
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Scanty flow

Pitta dosha: This is the dosha associated with the elements of Fire and Water. The following symptoms will manifest in case of a Pitta imbalance.

  • Excessive bleeding, inflammation and pain
  • Hot flow, burning pain in the uterine area
  • Blisters, fibroids, ulcers
  • Highly acidic environment where sperm cannot survive

Kapha dosha: This is the dosha associated with the elements of Earth and Water. The following symptoms will manifest in case of a Kapha imbalance.

  • Cool, sticky cysts
  • The uterine lining becomes thick
  • White discharge, irregular bleeding and irregular cycles

Out of these, the Vata dosha is the one that easily goes out of balance and is the cause of functional defects in the egg, implantation issues which can cause infertility. Excessive exercise, anxiety, fear, trauma or irregular eating habits or eating a Vata-aggravating diet that’s primarily cold, dry and light foods.

Though infertility could easily be caused by the other doshas as well. For example, Pitta people may be infertile owing to scarred tissue in the fallopian tube, blockages in the ascent of the sperm or descent of the ovum. The fiery nature of Pitta causes excess heat to build up which may deplete the Shukra Dhatu (reproductive tissue).

The prominence of the water element in Kapha is the reason that people of Kaphic constitution usually have the healthiest and strongest reproductive systems as water supports Shukra Dhatu. A diet that’s high in cold, heavy and oily foods along with sedentary lifestyle can result in infertility in those with this constitution. In such case, there is thickening of the fallopian tubes, development of uterine fibroids and often the displacement of the other doshas. There may be a tendency for scar tissue to develop when Pitta magnifies Kapha.

Symptoms of Female Sterility

  • Heavy or less bleeding in periods
  • Irregular or absence of menstrual cycles
  • Pelvic pain, back pain and abdominal cramps
  • Pain during sex
  • Infection of the genital or pelvic regions
  • Fibroids or cysts
  • Mid-cycle bleeding
  • Recurrent miscarriages (more than 3)
  • Sudden severe acne
  • Hair loss or hair thinning
  • Sudden weight gain

Root Causes of Female Sterility

  • Cervical issues: Anomalies of the cervical canal could mean that sperms are not able to find passage. This is majorly due to excess mucus production or previous cervical surgery. The treatment of cervical causes is insemination at an intrauterine level.
  • Hormonal imbalances: For some women, ovulation is a challenge. The hormonal rhythm is synced in a way that the egg is released from the ovary and the female sex organ and the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus) thickens. Sometimes, these changes are not coordination. These causes are treated with pelvic surgeries, hormonal examination and ovulation kits.
  • Injury to fallopian tubes: Any trauma to the fallopian tubes inhibits the contact between ovum and spermatozoon. Pelvic infections, pelvic operations and endometriosis, results in damage to the tubes.
  • Uterine malfunctions: Anomaly in the constitution of the uterus; uterine polyps and uterine fibroids could be possible causes.
  • Unexplained infertility: The cause of infertility will not be able to be identifies in about 20% of couples using the presently available methods of investigation.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Infertility in Female

Herbs
  • Bala (Sida Cordifolia): This is one of the top herbs to increase fertility and can be used both locally and internally. The root of this plant is boiled in oil and milk. It is used with lukewarm water as a douche. This brings about a change in the mucous membrane of the genital tract that aids the effective combination of ovum and sperm in the uterus. This medicated oil is also used internally in a dose of one teaspoon in the morning with a cup of milk.
  • Banyan (Ficus benghalensis): The tender roots of the banyan tree are one of the valuable natural remedies for infertility found beneficial in the treatment of female sterility where there are no organic defects or congenital deformities. The roots should be dried in shade and finely powdered. About 20 gms of the powder should be mixed with milk, which should be five times the weight of the powder, and taken at night for three consecutive nights after the monthly periods are over.
  • Jambul (Syzygium cumini): An infusion of the fresh tender leaves of the jambul tree is an excellent natural herbs for female fertility. The infusion can be prepared by pouring 250ml of boiling water over 20 gms of fresh jambul leaves and allowing it to steep for two hours. The infusion can be taken with either two teaspoonfuls of honey or 200 ml of buttermilk.
  • Winter Cherry (Withania Somnifera): This herb is highly regarded as an Ayurvedic treatment for ovulation. 6 grams of this powder should be taken with a cup of milk for five to six nights after menstruation.
  • Shilajeet (Asphaltum): Mineral pitch or shilajeet (also spelled as shilajit) is how to increase ovulation naturally and cure infertility. This rejuvenative herb is one of Ayurveda’s most precious remedies that is directly obtained from the Himalayas. Shilajeet can regulate the menstrual cycle, boost energy levels and is very high in antioxidants so it fights the signs of aging.
  • Shatavari (Asparagus Racemousus): Shatavari is one of the top herbs used in the Ayurvedic treatment for ovulation. It is extremely potent in healing problems such as blockage in fallopian tubes, ovarian cysts and endometriosis. Take 55 gms of shatavari powder, 60 ml spring water and 250 ml of pure cow ghee. Combine the powder and water into a pan and heat on medium heat stirring continuously until the mixture is reduced by a quarter. Once cooled, strain the mixture into a glass jar using a cheesecloth. Add the ghee to a pan and pour in the strained shatavari liquid. Keep under medium heat and stir frequently until the water is completely boiled off. Transfer the shatavari ghee to a glass jar with airtight lid. Use this ghee for your everyday cooking to benefit from this herb.
Ayurvedic Supplements (to be taken under physician’s guidance – Consult Now)  

              Mahayograj Guggulu

              Supari Pak

              Shilajeet Capsules

              Sundari Sakhi

              Phala Kalyan Ghrita

              Vanga Bhasma

              Chandraprabha Vati

              Yograj Guggulu

              Ashokarishta

              Dashmoolarishta

              Arogyavardhini Bati

              Prawal Panchamrit

            Ashwagandha Powder

            Ashwagandharistha

            Vita-Ex Gold Women

            Zest-F

Diet
  • Alkaline and pungent food should not be taken by those suffering from sterility. Take fruits and sweet foods in large quantities.
  • Include whole grains such as whole wheat, brown rice, oats and whole grain corn in your diet.
  • Dairy proteins in the form of milk, lassi and paneer can be very nourishing for your reproductive system.
  • Spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, ajwain (carom) and fennel nourish the uterus and support hormonal health.
  • Nuts like almonds and walnuts along with dried fruits like dates, figs and raisins. Seeds like pumpkin, sesame and sunflower
  • Stewed apple that has been speared with cloves (and cloves then removed) can be eaten as a healthy snack.
  • A banana lightly fried in ghee and spiced with cinnamon and cardamom can be a healthy and tasty dessert.
  • Certain nutrients, especially vitamins C & E and zinc, when supplemented into the diet have been found helpful in some cases of sterility.
Lifestyle
  • The bowels should be cleansed by a warm-water enema during a period of fasting and afterwards when necessary.
  • Excessive fat often results in sterility. In such cases weight should be reduced of diet and through exercise.
  • Follow the Ayurvedic daily routine (Dinacharya) to help balance your doshas, especially Vata.
  • Another practice to help the flow in the pelvic area is to apply castor oil packs.
Yoga
  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
  • Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)
  • Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
  • Standing Forward Bend (Hastapadasana)
  • One-Legged Forward Bend (Janu Shirasana)
  • Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana)