Incapability of the woman to conceive, after one year of regular sexual union without contraceptives, or to retain the fetus till childbirth is called as infertility. It is a problem, which not only affects the physical life of the woman but also disturbs the social and emotional life of the couple.
It is divided into two main types.
• Primary infertility:
When the woman has never been able to conceive, it is called as primary infertility.
• Secondary infertility:
When the couple experiences trouble in having the second or third child after having first child in the normal course, it is known as secondary infertility.
The causative factor of infertility might be found in either of the partners or some times in both.
The male factors are complete absence of sperms (azoospermia), or inadequate sperms in the seminal fluid (oligospermia) or some abnormality in the movement of the sperms. The woman faces more problems, which might be as follows:
• Absence of the egg in spite of having normal menstrual periods (anovulatory cycles)
• Hormonal imbalance leading to some problem in the internal uterine lining
• Congenital problems such as absence of the uterus or ovaries
• Patancy of the fallopian tubes
• Systemic diseases, such as tuberculosis, obesity
• Psychological factors such as inadequate sex education, depression, anxiety etc.
The treatment consists of the proper counseling of both the partners, and in treating the causative factor.
• For the male problems like azoospermia, the causative factor, i.e., hydrocoele, vericocoele, should be searched. Hormone therapy is available for the problems like oligospermia.
• For the female contributing factors, there is hardly any treatment for the congenital problems.
• Hormonal imbalance can be treated by replacement hormonal therapy and follow up blood tests.
• The formation of egg can also be stimulated by giving artificial hormone therapy.
• For systemic diseases, these should be treated till they are eradicated completely from body.
• Psychological problems also need proper sex education and psychiatric counseling.
• In selected cases, fertilization is achieved by methods like artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization.
Ayurveda offers good results in some of the infertility problems, in which there is limited therapy in the modern system of medicine.
• For all the cases of infertility, Panchakarma treatment should be employed. This consists of external and internal oleation, fomentation, regular application of enemata with medicated oils and decoctions of herbs, induced emesis and induced purgation whenever indicated.
• Herbs like Ashoka (Saraca indica), Aamla (Emblica oficinalis), Pippali (Piper longum), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), etc., are age old proven rejuvenators, which are used for infertility cases.
• Powder of Kapikachchhu (Mucuna prurita) is a proven medicine for increasing the sperm count in the patients of oligospermia and defective sperm formation.
• The generic preparations like Chyavanprashavaleha, Brahmi Ghrita, and Agatsya Haritaki Avaleha are prescribed for the gain and maintenance of the strength and vigor.
• To avoid infertility, it is important for the woman to have a normal menstrual cycle, for which she should follow the laws of diet and conduct prescribed by the ancient Ayurvedic physicians.