Modern 21st century Western women are blessed with the freedom to choose their own careers, financial independence, opportunities to travel and are enjoying full social lives, unlike their mothers and grandmothers before them. At the same time, they are carrying greater responsibilities financially, emotionally and even physically. In the work place, the modern woman is expected to perform as well as her male counterpart. In essence modern life presents so many more hurdles and distractions from fertility that women are unsurprisingly delaying having children. This is entirely in line with a culture in which our life expectancy has been raised and we are enjoying unprecedented longevity and health.
For modern women there is, however, a price to pay. Fertility. It is a commonly held belief that career women who have delayed having children into their 30s or 40s have greater difficulty conceiving. The media is certainly full of apolcalyptic stories about women leaving motherhood too late.
Ayurvedic medicine, the oldest and most intelligent mind-body systems of healing has the answers. The Charaka Samhita, the original texts of this 5,000 year old science states that provided optimum conditions are created, the female body is capable of conceiving and carrying a child at any age up to menopause. Just as mature trees in the orchard can produce the best quality fruit, the female body can produce high quality eggs in its mature years. All that is needed is the right nutrients and a hospitable environment in the body and the womb.
What is causing infertility in Western women according to Ayurveda?
Fast food diets, long-term use of contraceptive pills, early sexual activity, alcohol, smoking and general levels of stress in modern Western societies can all have a detrimental effect on the body’s hormone levels. In order to maintain maximum fertility levels, the hormones should be in perfect balance from puberty to menopause.
In Ayurveda it all comes down to the Pitta. Get the Pitta Dosha balanced and pregnancy should be successful and healthy. All the influences of the modern way of life such as those listed push the Pitta Dosha out of balance.
The Pitta Dosha is one of the three fundamental constitutions along with Vata and Kapha that are the basis of the Ayurvedic perspective (literally ‘science or knowledge of life’). Everyone is a combination of these three constitutions and they govern one’s physical, emotional and psychological make-up.
Pitta comes to the forefront in the period of puberty, and continues as a girl blossoms into womanhood. When in balance, it brings about an incredible life energy to the body and creates a great sense of independence, individuality, sexual attention, love and desire. When out of balance it can create rage, heat, negative attention, rebellious feelings and a desire to push boundaries.
According to Ayurveda, a woman’s life is dominated by the Pitta Dosha between the ages of 16 to 45. Starting between 16 and 25, it peaks from 25 to 35 and starts to decline from 35 to 45. While youth starts at the age of 16, the strongest desire to procreate comes generally between the ages of 25 and 35 (although this is no way means that a healthy woman of 45 can’t become pregnant).
Western women don’t have it easy either. In Ayurvedic terms, fertility is enhanced with the balanced combination of the male and female energies. The male energy is known as Surya, meaning sun – the provider, and the female energy is Soma – ‘moon’ energy, the maker or protector. But women in the West are increasingly both providers and protectors, meaning their role as pure protectors is compromised and thus the fine balance of male and female energies is disturbed.
Ayurveda seeks to redress this balance with natural and effective treatment methods that includes herbal remedies, massage, diet and lifestyle changes which are tailored to enhance fertility in each woman or man according to the natural balance of their individual constitutions.
Fertiltiy tips: What you can do right now
Eat a pitta- (heat) reducing diet. The most Pitta increasing foods to cut out are:
NO – red meat
NO – caffeine
NO – alcohol
NO – red vegetables
NO – tropical fruit (especially pineapple)
NO – dry grains
YES – white meat white fish
YES – carbohydrates
YES – Green vegetables (especially spinach)
YES – milk
YES – avocado
YES – apples, pears, berries
Gentle yoga – no hot yoga
No exercise that creates too much heat in the body such as jogging/running and aerobic exercises
What the Ayurvedic doctor can do for you:
The Ayurvedic doctor is able to advise on individualised treatment for the treatment of specific infertility disorders, including endometriosis, PCOS, uterine fibroids, failure to ovulate, miscarriages (see the full list below including male fertility issues).
The Ayurvedic doctor will:
- Detect where the problem lies, whether with the man or woman
- Identify the root cause of the problem
- Advise on a specific diet, lifestyle and exercise regime
- Prescribe natural herbal remedies to balance the excess heat, regulate hormones and maintain the optimum conditions for the production of high quality eggs
- Prescribe a specific treatment regime, involving patient specific procedures within Panchakarma treatment
Pancha Karma fertility programme
Pancha karma de-toxification treatment is an intensive 3 or 5-day, purification treatment to rejuvenate and calm the body. It is timed according to the female ovulation cycle and may be repeated on different cycles.
The miracle of the human body is that it has a natural healing intelligence that is capable of constantly rejuvenating itself. However, when doshic imbalances weaken the digestive capacity and allow toxic impurities to form, this natural capacity of the body is blocked.
To remedy this situation, Ayurveda offers the gift of Panchakarma the ‘Science of Rejuvenation.’ In this process the body is purified of the degenerating influence of these foreign substances, thus freeing it to naturally exercise its inherent rejuvenating abilities.
The Panchakarma treatment is simple and traditional: the oils chosen for your individual constitution are pungent and heavy. The herbs originate from India and Sri Lanka and have deep cleansing, detoxifying and healing properties.
What kind of fertility issues can be treated?
- Failure to ovulate
- Infections in the pelvic area
- Production of immature eggs
- Production of too many eggs of poor quality (Poly Cyctic Ovary Syndrome)
- Primary Ovary Insufficiency (POI)
- Uterine fibroids
- Implantation failure
- Autoimmune disorders (such as NATURAL killer cells SYNDROME)
- Endocrine disorders (e.g. diseases of the thyroid and adrenal glands, hypothalamic amenorrhea, hyperprolactinemia)
- Diminishing ovarian reserves (AMH LOW)
- Low sperm count
- Low motility
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