There is nothing more stressful to a patient and a caring gynaecologist than to face repeated IVF failure or recurrent pregnancy loss following IVF. So to advise couples who have failed one or more attempts, to keep on trying over and over and over is not an easy job. Here, one can find a solution in Ayurvedic treatment. Ayurveda, through its medicines, diet and lifestyle modifications and Panchakarma raises a new hope after IVF failure. Ayurvedic treatment enhances the success rate of Artificial Reproductive Techniques (IUI, IVF, ICSI-ET) or increases the chance of natural conception as per cause of infertility.
What is Infertility?
- Infertility is the inability to conceive even after one year of unprotected coitus or inability to carry pregnancy till full term.
- There are many causes of infertility; such as tubal block, PID, Endometriosis, PCOD in women and low sperm count, low sperm motility in men.
- When there is severe tubal disease, severe egg factors, failed IUI treatments, severe malefactors, unexplained infertility, grade III and IV endometriosis; Test tube baby is suggested.
What is test tube baby?
IVF (In-Vitro-Fertilization) is a laboratory procedure in which processed sperm are either placed (IVF) or injected into the oocyte (ICSI) in a Petri dish to achieve fertilisation. The resultant embryos are transferred into woman's uterus for implantation.
What are causes of IVF failure?
- To work out on IVF failures, we should focus on causes of failure.
- One of the most common causes of IVF failure is Abnormal Embryo. An abnormal embryo can be formed due to abnormal egg or abnormal sperm or if both gametes are abnormal.
- Another common cause is implantation failure. Endometrium preparation and its receptivity are more important for implantation of an embryo. Endometrium should be 6 mm or more in thickness preferably 8-10 mm. To know details about endometrium preparation, Color Doppler should be done. It has also been observed that when pregnancy is achieved in absence of endometrial and sub-endometrial flow on the day of embryo transfer (ET), more than half of pregnancy will finish as spontaneous miscarriage.
- IVF cycle can be cancelled even before Ovum Pick Up due to Poor Ovarian Response, in which very few or no follicle growth is seen even after fertility injections.
- Most neglected but important cause is Pre-treatment stress.
Hope in Ayurveda:
- According to Ayurveda, four factors are essential for conception; namely seed (oocyte and sperm), soil (reproductive track), season (fertile period) and water (nutrition).
- Ayurvedic fertility treatments regularise metabolism of the body, purify reproductive organs, maintain hormonal equilibrium, improve endometrium lining and receptivity, increase egg and sperm quality and relieve stress.
- Womb preparation treatment of Ayurveda enhances the success rate of IUI, IVF, ICSI-ET.
Womb Preparation Treatments:
1. Ayurvedic medicines:
- Ayurvedic herbs and medicinal preparations act as a natural tonic to male and female reproductive organs.
- They maintain biological clock of menstruation; hence hormonal imbalance is corrected.
- They also help in making most potent and healthy sperm and ovum and eventually a healthy pregnancy.
2. Panchakarma (Detoxification):
- Ayurveda can treat infertility by Panchakarma procedures like Basti, Uttarbasti, Vaman, Virechan, Nasya using different Ayurvedic formulations as per cause of infertility and failure of IVF and according to body constitution of the patient.
- Basti acts on vata predominantly. It increases the strength of reproductive organs
- Uttarbasti is an intrauterine instillation of sterile medicated oil or ghee. It acts on endometrial receptors
- Vamana and Virechana detox the whole body and improve digestive fire for proper nourishment of reproductive hormones and organs
- Yoniprakshalana (Irrigation of vulva and vagina with warm decoction) and Pichudharan (Insertion of a sterile tampoon soaked in medicated ghee or oil in posterior fornix of the vagina) are also helpful in infertility
- According to Ayurveda; A cheerful mind forms the basis of pregnancy; so relaxing panchakarma procedures like massage, steam, head massage, Shirodhara are done to reduce stress and its impact on infertility treatments.
- Like other fertility treatments, Ayurvedic treatment does not depend only on medicines.
- In fact, it ensures that patient follows a strict diet rule as per Ayurveda and avoids spicy and salty food.
- The proper food can help to provide proper nutrition to reproductive organs.
4. Lifestyle modification:
- Nowadays infertility has become a part of lifestyle diseases.
- Ayurvedic Doctor can guide you to modify lifestyle according to your body constitution (Dinacharya) and seasonal variations (Rutucharya).
- It is always better to avoid cigarette smoking, tobacco and alcohol as they reduce fertility.
- Exercise is an inevitable part of the lifestyle. One should learn exercise, yogasana (e.g. Surya Namaskara, Gomukhasan, Sarvangasana, Pavanmuktasan, Ardhamatsyendrasan, Naukasan, Dhanurasan, Shalabhasan etc) and Pranayam from an experienced teacher.