Since time immemorial the Aacharyas of Ayurveda and the common people of Bhaarata– the present India, who followed the principles of Ayurveda, have always believed and propagated the idea of a society with large families with numerous children akin to the ever prosperous banyan tree with its roots which provides shade and shelter to all.
In fact it was of such importance that a Santana Heena Purusha – a person without an offspring was metaphorically considered
- a tree which is unable to give shade, bear fruits and has only one branch;
- ChitraDeepa-a painting of a lit lamp-which just looks good but does not provide light;
- SushkaSara-a dry well and
- TrunaPuli- a scarecrow in a field.
On the other hand a Santana Yukta Purusha- a person with an offspring’s life is considered
- Mangalamaya – fortunate,
- Prashasya – auspicious,
- Dhanya – great / worthy and
- Viryavaan –
According to Acharya Charaka a person who has a shreyasi praja-a quality offspring, is said to reap the benefits of
- Preeti – love,
- Bala – strength,
- vrutti vistaara- continuation of the family occupation,
- vipula kula- an extensive clan,
- a respectable status in the society,
- a bright future and
- tushti—satisfaction in life.
With such a rich history of fertile people trending, it is disheartening today to see around us the #trendgonewrong to an extent that such a nation is struggling with the curse of Infertility. India, one among the most populous countries, finds itself at the center of a paradoxical situation: an ever-mushrooming population on one hand and a dramatic year-on-year decline in its fertility rate on the other. India is estimated to be contributing to nearly 25-30% of all couples diagnosed with infertility the world over.
Infertility is the inability of the male or female or both, to conceive naturally after 12 months or more of periodic unprotected sexual intercourse.
- Apraja – Primary infertility denotes those patients who have never conceived.
- Sapraja – Secondary infertility indicates previous pregnancy but failure to conceive subsequently.
Causes of infertility
- Male infertility
- Improper production of the sperm
- Obstruction to the flow of the sperm
- Failure to deposit sperm in the proper position into the vagina
- Errors in the seminal fluid
- Female infertility
Include problems in the
- Combined factors
- Advanced age of both the husband and wife
- Lack of knowledge of proper sexual intercourse for conception
- Anxiety and apprehension
Conception depends on the fertility potential of both the male and female partner.
“With the whole bandwagon of things that could go wrong, Ayurveda counsels us with the minute factors to look for that should go right for a successful conception.”
- The male is directly responsible in about 30-40%,
- The female is responsible in about 40-55% and
- Both are responsible in about 10% cases.
The remaining 10% is unexplained, in spite of thorough investigations with modern technical knowhow.
This is the area where Ayurveda excels providing a unique perspective to conception, as well as its associated problems and solutions.
The factors required for conception includes comparing the formation of the fetus to a germinating seed which requires 4 main factors for its germination i.e.
- Rtu – External Season, Fertile season-Age of the woman, Ovulatory phase of the woman
- Kshetra – Healthy arena i.e., the body of the woman, healthy Uterus/womb and reproductive organs
- Ambu – Nutritional status of the woman and the component that nourishes the formed fetus
- Beeja – the quality sperm and ovum
Irregularities of any one or more factors lead to infertility.
Adding to these, Acharya Charaka importantly warns about the quality of 3 major factors, abnormalities of which will undoubtedly lead to infertility i.e.
- Hrudaya – the good intent behind conception / psychology
- Prakruta Vayu – proper functioning of each and every minute movement in the body
- Shadbhaavas – the 6 requirements to form a garbha
- Matruja bhava– characteristics derived from the mother
- Pitruja bhava– characteristics derived from the father
- Rasaja bhava– characteristics derived from the food taken
- Aatmaja – characteristics derived from the atma aatma entering the garbha
- Satvaja – characteristics derived from the manas / psyche
- Satmyaja – characteristics derived from the satmya or the habits
On the other hand, the Aacharyas of Ayurveda explain the causes of infertility under the broad term –Vandhya which have been scattered across various contexts.
- Yonipradosha–Abnormalities of the reproductive organs
- Yonivyapad – Gynecological disorders
- Artavavaha srotas vedha– Injury to the vessels
- Yonyarshas–protrusions of the reproductive organs
- Garbhakosha bhanga–injury to the uterus or its displacement
- Bhaga sankocha–constriction of the vulva and vagina
- Sphalita mutratva–urinary causes affecting the fertility
- Manasika abhitapa– Psychological abnormalities
- Shukra dosha– defect of in the sperm and semen
- Asruk dosha – defect of in the ovum and ovarian hormones
- Ahara dosha – non-congenial diet
- Vihara dosha – improper mode of lifestyle
- Akaala yoga– improper sexual intercourse
- Bala sankshaya – loss of the capacity and strength to achieve conception
- Atma dosha – influence of misdeeds done by the couple in their previous life along with the abnormalities of the descending atma into the conceptus
- Vandhya karaka Jaataharini– various infective causes, whose complications lead to infertility
- Daiva prakopa– celestial causes which depend on one’s fate and the state of the planetary movements of one’s birth and the different phases of their life
That being mentioned, it is substantial to make known that Ayurveda doesn’t consider the body to be just a physical arena but a unique entity with a physical body, an active mind, an all observing aatma and the Chaitanya / jeeva-the life force. Hence it provides simple and custom made solutions to most of the unexplained cases of infertility considering each and every factor which we will be discussing in further articles to come.
‘Saumanasyam garbhadharananam Shreshtam’
The beauty of our Indian system of thought is that it urges every individual to commit themselves completely to each and every action one performs accompanying saumanasya-a happy, content, pleasurable mind with good will; which holds true, especially specially for the decision to conceive a new life. A happy and strong intent to conceive a child is what majorly summarizes the requirement for a healthy conception.
Even though it is sadly seen in very few couples who are desirous of a child today, making it the primary cause of infertility, emphasizing this wholesome concept to the young couples who are desirous of children is the need of the hour to create a healthy self, a healthy family and a healthy society.
Ayurveda Gynecology & Obstetrician Consultant
Sriranga Ayurveda Chikitsa Mandira, Dattagalli, Mysore.