Infertility
343 Case Studies
55 Member Stories
31 Research

Learn how Ayurveda views Infertility and treats it.

What is infertility?

Infertility is the failure of a couple to conceive a pregnancy after trying to do so for at least one year. In primary infertility, pregnancy has not occurred. In secondary infertility, both members of the couple have already guessed, but aren't able to conceive again after a full year of trying. In the event that you and your partner are fighting to have a baby, you aren't alone. In US, 10% to 15% of couples are infertile. Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant despite having regular, unprotected sex for at least a year for most couples.

Infertility may result from a issue with you or your spouse, or a combination of factors that prevent pregnancy. Fortunately, there are plenty of safe and effective remedies that greatly improve your chances of becoming pregnant.

Approximately 20 percent of couples struggle with infertility at any specific time. Some studies blame this expansion on social phenomena, including the tendency for marriage and starting a family to occur in a later age. For women, fertility decreases with increasing age, particularly after 35 years.

How does Ayurveda view Infertility?

The traditional Ayurveda practices explain the concept of ‘Garbha Samskara’ for a healthy progeny. preconception care, conception methods and pregnancy and post-natal care are explained in detail in the Ayurveda classics. Ayurveda supports planned pregnancy because Planned pregnancy makes the couple well prepared physically, psychologically, socially and emotionally for future events during and after birth. Hence, the concept of garbha Samskara in a planned pregnancy has increasingly gained popularity.1

Ayurveda gives natural, scientific, age-old and simplified methods of obtaining a healthy progeny. By adopting these simple methods, rules and restrictions one will be able to procure a desirable and healthy progeny, with strength, vigor and longevity.

Ayurveda advises the following for a healthy progeny -

  • - Best of male and female gamete (sperm and ovum – through purification) following regimes before conception

  • -  atma, suddha garbhashaya,proper kala (ritukala) and 

  • - observing garbhini paricharya properly 

Ayurvedic Pregnancy Diet

Ayurveda has given great importance to diet of pregnant woman. The interesting fact is that the diet is not just based on the need for the pregnant woman but also by the fetus, which is advised month wise. And this month wise pattern of diet is called as ‘Masanumasik patya’.

This Masanumasik Pathya is suggested according to the month & by the need of fetal development.

Let us look at the symptoms and diet advised in each Trimester in detail. 2

First Trimester 

Symptoms 

Diet

Nausea and Vomiting 

Madhura (Sweet), shita (Cold), drava (liquid), which will prevent dehydration & supply required nourishment.


Second Trimester 

Features

Diet

Development of muscles and organs of the fetus

Foods rich in proteins


Third Trimester

Symptoms

Diet

Constipation, Retention of water and preparation of genital tract for delivery

Pathyas advised are diuretics 



  • In all the three trimesters use of milk, ghee and honey is advised. 


    Pregnant women should follow a careful regimen of diet and regimen during pregnancy. This Regimen is known as Garbhini Paricharya or Pregnancy Care. Ayurveda advises the intake of herbs in each month to ensure safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. 4

    Month

    Diet

    Herbs

    First Month

    Cold milk in small quantity but frequently. Mathur (sweet), Sheet (cooling to the body) and liquid diet is preferred in first month for maintenance of the fetus.

    • Jeshthamadhu with white sandalwood powder, red sandalwood powder in cow's milk.


    • Jeshthamadha, Sariva, Ksheerkakoli, Devdaru (Cedrus deodara) in milk.

    Second Month

    Cold milk in small quantity but frequently Madhur, sheet and liquid diet like milk, coconut water, fruit juices, peya, kanji which has not become sour


    Avoid - Pineapple, Papaya, Sugarcane.

    • Ashmantaka (Apta), tila, Pippali (Piper longum), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia) Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus). These are taken in the same quantity and a Kashaya (decoction) is prepared and taken with milk and sugar.


    • Lotus stem, lotus, bel fruit, Camphor and Goat milk and buttermilk with Naga kesara.

    Third Month 

    Rice with milk or Ghee (clarified butter) and honey in unequal quantity with milk and same type of fruit juices that are told in 2nd month.

    • Vrikshadani, Ksheerkakolki, Priyangu, Sariva. 


    • Sugar, Nagkeshar Milk 


    • Sandalwood powder, Khus, lotus, cold water with milk.

    Fourth Month 

    Butter taken out of milk, Rice with curds, fruit juice, coconut water, Hridya Fruits viz. Mango, watermelon, white pumpkin, yellow pumpkin, snake gourd (chichinda) Berry, pomegranate, Amratak (Ambada)

    • Sariva, Rasna, Bharangi or Jeshthamadhu decoction

    Fifth Month

    Rice and milk, ghee from butter, Rice milk, Ghee. Mamsa Vardhak (foods which promote bulk in fetus) – meat soup, back gram; Rakta Vardhak (which increase blood)– Pomegranate, Chikoo, Apple, spinach, beetroot, Amalaki, guava etc.

    • Ground pomegranate leaves, sandalwood paste should be mixed with curd and honey.


    • Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum) Laghu Kantakari (Gmelina arborea) leaves of Ksheeri trees (like Pipal – Ficus religiosa) banyan, udumbar (Ficus glomerata), Plaksha – (Ficus lactor) powder with milk



    Sixth Month

    Ghee, Rice, Gokharu (Tribulus terrestris) Siddha ghee (processed ghee), Yavagu (Rice kanji).

    • Gairik, black mud heated and put in water and after setting for some time, take upper water only and in that mix sandal powder, sugar and drink it.

    • Prishniparni (Uraria picta), Bala, Gokharu, Drum stick, Jeshthamadhu decoction.

    • Balya (Strengthening): Endri,Gorakshakarkati(papaya),Vidarikanda,Shatavari,Ashwagandha, Mashparni, Bala, Atibala.

    • Varnya (for complexion): Sandalwood powder, lotus, ushir, Sariva, Jeshthamadha, Manjishtha, White Durva, Vidarikanda.

    Seventh Month

    Avoid salt and large quantity of water.

    • Take bala, Gokharu, Musta, Lajjalu, Nagkeshar powder,Honey. In 7th month all parts of foetus are well developed. 


    • Take – Water Chestnut (Trapa Bispinosa) lotus, grapes,Musta, sugar, Jeshthamadhu decoction.

    Eighth Month

    Yavagu in Milk

    • Take Lodhra, pippali powder with honey and milk. Milk processed in Kapittha (Eeronia elephantum) Laghu Kantakari and snake gourd, Bruhat Kantakari, Cane Sugar.


    • Decoction enema– Bala Kashaya, Bala, Atibala, Milk, oil, salt, honey and ghee.

    • After this give Anuvasana Basti (Oil enema) of milk, madhuraushadhi siddha kashay (decoction prepared with drugs of sweet taste) oil, so that a pregnant woman has got enough strength and soft vaginas which supports the smooth passage of baby

    Ninth Month

    Yavagu in Milk

    • Anuvasana Basti with madhurashadhi siddha oil and put oil tampon in vagina. 


    • In 8th and 9th month there is pain in abdomen and sometime bleeding through vagina also. So, use pain killing and stambhana (drug to stop bleeding) medicines. 


    •  Medicine – Shunthi, (Zigiber officinale) Jeshthamadha, Deodaru are pain killers. Sariva, Jeshthamadha, Ksheerkakoli Kashaya medicines


    The above-mentioned diet and herbs are based on ancient Ayurveda classics. 

    So how exactly does an average diet of Pregnancy looks like? 5

    Cereals 

    Rice, Jowar, Barley, Wheat, Ragi, Maize, Bajra

    Pulses

    Green gram, green peas, black gram,

    Bengal gram, soya bean, red gram, cluster beans, kidney

    beans (red), french beans, double beans.

    Vegetables

    Bottle gourd, snake

    gourd, cucumber, tinda, lady’s finger, parwal, ridge gourd, red

    pumpkin, drum stick, ash gourd, tomato.

    Root and Tubers

    Potato, sweet potato,

    carrots, radish, onion, garlic, ginger, yam, turmeric, beet root,

    tapioca (sago)

    Green Leafy vegetables:

    Spinach, Lettuce, Cauliflower

    leaves, Curry leaves, Coriander leaves, Mint, Cabbage,

    Fenugreek, Drumstick leaves, Amaranth leaves.

    Milk and milk products

    Whole milk, Ghee,

    Butter, Paneer, Buttermilk, Curds, Cheese, Shrikhanda, Ice creams can be consumed. Cow's milk and ghee is the boon to

    expecting mother

    Meat

    Goat meat, Titer (Partridge, Bird

    variety), Chicken, Sardine fish, Crabs, Goat liver, Chicken

    liver, Eggs, Cod-liver oil and Salmon.

    Fruits

    Banana, Apple, Dates, Grapes, Pomegranate, figs, Jackfruit, lime, oranges, Mango, Pear, Phalsa, Dried figs, Resins, Apricot, Almond,

    Dried dates, Fresh Amla is a boon for expecting mothers. One Amla every day is very useful in every aspect of nutrition in

    Dried amla powder can be used in the off seasons.

    (Guava, Berries, Custard apple are not good for digestion hence it is better to avoid)


Why is milk advised during pregnancy?

Milk is an excellent source of Calcium. It possesses lactose, butter fat and moderate amount of protein. In addition to that, milk has anabolic properties as well. All these gives physical strength to a woman. Also, milk is a popular laxative and the constipation tendency can be tackled by using milk on a daily basis during Pregnancy. 

Honey with milk is also indicated during Pregnancy. This is because the Vipaka or post digestive effect of honey is Katu (Pungent). This stimulates the Pitta and digestive fire during pregnancy. 


Use of ghee also promotes digestion. 3

Success of Ayurvedic treatment for Infertility


Infertility is a clinical condition of the reproductive system that often prevents process of conception. It depends on several factors – 

  • Production of healthy sperm by man

  • Production of healthy ovum by woman

  • The sperm must reach the eggs and for that unblocked fallopian tubes is necessary

  • The fertilized egg must be able to implant into the uterus

  • Sufficient embryo quality is also necessary

While doing my internship in Amrita School of Ayurveda, I was able to practice and learn Ayurveda Gynecology under Dr. Syamala B, MD, PhD, who was the then principal of Amrita School of Ayurveda. The Ayurveda community will be forever indebted for her remarkable achievement in the field of Gynecology and Obstetrics. I have seen so many successful case studies under Dr Syamala and Dr Radhika Varma PhD at AyurVAID, Bangalore. 

There are cases of repeated abortions, infertility, congenital disorders and chromosomal abnormality, growth retardation etc. occurring due to improper or unplanned pregnancy or improper sperm and ovum. In Ayurveda literature, with the aim of achieving shreshtha praja(qualitative  progeny) paricharya(diet and lifestyle) in antenatal phase is described. The rate of success in treating infertility and other gynecological disorders are high. 6

References

1. Journal of Ayurveda and Holistic Medicine | January, 2014 | Volume 2 | Issue 1

2. Koli, D. B., Dr., & From 5th World Ayurveda Congress 2012 Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India. 7-10 Dec 2012 (2012).  PA01.78. Ayurvedic diet in pregnancy. Ancient Science of Life, 32(Suppl 1), S128.

3. Dwivedi M. (1995). Ayurvedic concept of food in pregnancy. Ancient science of life, 14(4), 245–247.

4. Koppikar V. S. (2008). Garbhini Paricharya (Regimen for the pregnant woman). Ancient science of life, 28(1), 37–39.

5. Nanal V. R. (2008). Food in pregnancy an ayurvedic overview. Ancient science of life, 28(1), 30–32.

6. Chandla Anubha et al : Preconceptional Care Through Ayurveda for Healthy   Progeny:IJAAR   VOLUME   III  ISSUE III JUL-AUG 2017Page No:556-56


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