In today’s busy world, mothers-to-be have many challenges regarding their health. It has become very difficult for them to balance both work and health. Women in their late thirties or early forties may have a history of use of birth control pills, issues regarding menstrual flow or otherwise compromised hormonal balance. And for fathers-to-be, there might be other challenges such as exposure to environmental hazards and toxins like pesticides in food and excessive stress. All these are the main reasons for reduction of quality and quantity of sperm in men, due to which it becomes challenging to have a healthy offspring.
Ayurveda before conception
Ayurveda and its therapies are considered a good option to eradicate these hazards and have a healthy offspring. However, while these are guidelines, please consult a medical practitioner for any treatment.
The birth of a healthy child is seen as the equivalent to planting a tree, for which we need seeds, soil, time and the right nourishment. Here, seeds are nothing but healthy sperm and ovum; soil is nothing but a healthy uterus, along with the proper time of ovulation. It is better known as “bheejashudhi” in Sanskrit.
The reproductive tissues in both men and women are dependent on the health of the other six body tissues:
· Rasa: Plasma
· Rakta: Blood tissue
· Mamsa: Muscle tissue
· Meda: Adipose tissue or fat tissue
· Asti: Bone tissue
· Majja: Bone marrow, nerve tissue
· Shukra: Reproductive tissue
Ayurveda has specific actions mentioned for all mankind for nourishing these body tissues and increasing the chances of conception to have a healthy child. Those specific actions are known as Panchakarma (detoxification measures).
The first step in producing healthy sperm and eggs is to ensure metabolism. This is achieved through a deep internal cleansing to balance the doshas and remove toxins (known as ‘Ama’), ensuring optimal metabolism.
There are mainly two steps involved:
Step 1: Purvakarma (pre-detox measures)
This involves internal and external oleation and sweating. During the period of oleation, medicated ghee is taken on an empty stomach orally for a period of three to five days. These enable the body to release toxins and draw them to the digestive tract where the body can then eliminate them via motions. After oleation (Snehapana), abhyangam or body massage followed by steam is carried out for three days.
Step 2: Main karma (Virechana)
Medicated herbs are ingested and after some hours the sensation to defecate occur and continue for four to six times depending on the intensity of the accumulated toxins.
Basti or medicated enema treatments
Different enema procedures are recommended such as NiruhaBasti or Decoction enema, AnuvasanaBasti or oil enema, Uttara Basti or Enema with the aim of cleansing the uterus.
Among these, Uttara Basti has a prominent role in pre-conceptional care. Here, medicated ghee or oil is introduced into the uterine cavity after the menstrual cycle (after the sixth day of menses).
Besides the panchakarma procedures, both men and women can follow good lifestyle plans such as practice of Yoga and Pranayama, diet, etc. As stress is the major causes of reduced fertility, practicing yoga relaxes both mind and body.
A good diet should be maintained by both partners at least three months before planning for a pregnancy.