Causes & Treatment

Ayurveda and fertility – the dosha analysis fertility practice you might not have heard about

Emma Harpham and Mani Maran, Ayurveda specialist at Thrive Journey  |   21 Jan 2024

Exploring alternative avenues for fertility support? Ayurveda’s time-tested wisdom may hold the key. 

An ancient form of medicine that originated in India, Ayurveda and fertility combine in a gentle, holistic approach to understanding the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of reproductive well-being – and pretty much everything else in between!

Ayurveda and fertility – an expert Q&A

We sat down with Mani Maran, a Singaporean Vaidyar with over 30 years of experience and Ayurveda specialist at Thrive Journey, to dive into the world of Ayurvedic fertility practice.

For all things holistic support when trying to conceive (TTC), Thrive Journey is our absolute go-to. Their online Fertility Wellness program brings qigong yoga, Ayurvedic nutrition and support, and relaxation techniques together with a clinically tested approach to preconception planning.

Want to learn more? Read on as we cover off:

  • The Ayurvedic approach to fertility
  • The three Doshas 
  • How their balance impacts your reproductive well-being
  • Some of the personalised insights Ayurveda offers
  • Tailored fertility support you can expect

Now, over to Mani.

The Ayurveda 101

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is often seen as the mother of all traditional healing methods. With its 8 different branches addressing various aspects of our body and mind, Ayurveda is a complete system in itself.

It is a bit tricky to pin down precisely because it’s been shaped by various wise folks and yogis over the years. 

However, in a nutshell, Ayurveda equips us with the knowledge not only to understand our own unique nature but also to live life at our healthiest and best.

There is also Modern Ayurveda and Classical Ayurveda. I inherited Classical Ayurveda from my father, and very few practice it, whereas Modern Ayurveda is very similar to modern conventional medicine practised by doctors.

Ayurveda and fertility dosha analysis

How does Ayurveda, with its focus on Doshas, approach fertility? 

The term Dosha in Ayurveda translates to ‘disturbances.’. 

Those who practice Ayurveda believe that conditions like infertility can occur when any of the three Doshas (or a combination of them) becomes excessive

Ayurveda holds that an excess of Dosha happens when an individual’s lifestyle has impacted their body for an extended period, affecting the digestive qualities and rendering food indigestible. This indigestible food, not eliminated quickly enough, becomes putrified and toxic. 

In Ayurveda terminology, this putrified food is referred to as Ama.’ Ama is the culprit behind the excessive Dosha, which subsequently affects the proper functioning of various tissues and organs, leading to diseases and imbalance.

So, what are the three Doshas?

The three Doshas – known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – constantly undergo changes influenced by internal and external factors. They also interact with one another.

  • Vata governs all movements within the body and mind.
  • Pitta transforms food into energy and thoughts into action.
  • Kapha provides stability and grounding, allowing our bodies to carry out various activities.

It’s incorrect to attribute specific functions to each Dosha, a mistake often made when using a ‘Dosha quiz.’ While a quiz might be fun to take online, it should not be professionally applied. 

For instance, labelling individuals with a Pitta Dosha as inherently angry is flawed. All three Doshas can express anger, but the way they manifest it differs significantly.

How can we explain the concept of balance in Ayurveda and fertility?

Our body and mind operate under the influence of these three Doshas. 

It’s important to note that achieving a state where all three Doshas have the same degree of qualities, i.e., balance, is neither feasible nor accurate! 

The term ‘balance’ is likely introduced to signify that the three Doshas have stabilized after the removal of excess Dosha. In essence, stability equals balance here! 

The potential for improved fertility arises when the system achieves a state of stability, by eliminating excess Dosha.

Ayurveda and fertility treatments

Ayurveda and fertility support

All three Doshas can influence reproductive health. Here’s a quick overview of the Ayurvedic perspective.

Note – Imbalances in the different Doshas can present with identical symptoms, and a particular Dosha imbalance only indicates ‘tendencies’ towards certain symptoms – so it’s not as straightforward as simply saying that symptom X means that Dosha Y is imbalanced!

This is why it is so crucial to conduct a consultation with an experienced Ayurveda practitioner to accurately trace the chain of causality back to the ‘root cause’.

Dosha imbalance and menstrual issues

Vata Dosha: Imbalances in Vata are thought to cause irregular or painful periods, light bleeding, and fertility challenges due to disruptions in blood and hormone flow, as Vata governs movement and circulation.

Pitta Dosha: Pitta imbalances may result in heavy bleeding, hot flashes, and irritability during menstruation. Governing digestion and metabolism, Pitta issues can lead to inflammation, infection, and excessive body heat.

Kapha Dosha: An imbalance in Kapha, governing structure and lubrication, may contribute to heavy, sluggish periods, fluid retention, and ovulation issues. Excessive mucus can lead to sluggishness, slowness, and blockages.

Dosha imbalance and specific fertility-impacting conditions

Fibroids: Ayurveda associates fibroids with Kapha imbalance. Excess Kapha can lead to the formation of cysts and tumours.

PCOS: Ayurveda views PCOS as a combination of Pitta and Kapha imbalances. Pitta is said to contribute to inflammation and hormonal imbalances, while Kapha is said to lead to insulin resistance and weight gain.

Light menstruation: Vata imbalance is often associated with light or irregular periods. The lack of Vata’s grounding and nourishing energy is believed to lead to inadequate blood production.

Heavy menstruation: Heavy bleeding is often associated with Pitta imbalance. Excessive heat and inflammation in the body can lead to heavy and prolonged periods.

Anovulation: Ovulation is a delicate process that requires a balance of all three doshas. An imbalance in any Dosha can disrupt ovulation and lead to infertility.

Endometriosis: Ayurveda views endometriosis as a result of Vata and Pitta imbalances. Vata governs movement, and an imbalance can lead to the displacement of uterine tissue. Pitta governs inflammation, and an imbalance can contribute to the pain and discomfort associated with endometriosis.

What does a Dosha analysis look like? 

Here at Thrive Journey, Dosha analysis happens through a one-on-one online consultation with me.

We’ll include a thorough review of your daily lifestyle routine, a personalized interview, and observation. This comprehensive approach enables us to pinpoint the ‘root cause’ of infertility.

In some cases, further refinement of the analysis can be achieved with a pulse reading known as ‘Naadi Parikshai.

The pulse readings not only disclose your current constitution (Vikriti) but also unveil your constitution at the time of birth (Prakriti). The disparity between these two states guides me in determining the corrective measures needed to restore balance.

What does Ayurveda suggest to restore balance to your Dosha and improve fertility?

Ayurveda recommends a mix of lifestyle adjustments; including eating and diet, exercise, and sleep

Additionally, Ayurvedic formulations are created to help manage and eliminate excess Dosha. An essential detoxification tool, Ayurvedic oil massages, will also be advised. 

These components are considered a standard package and are meant to be done together, not separately.

After the standard treatment package, a 7-day cleanse known as ‘Panchakarma’ is suggested as a way to ensure a more thorough removal of toxins.

The wrap on Ayurveda and fertility

That’s the expert wrap on Ayurveda and fertility

Whether you’re on the hunt for alternative support or looking to complement more conventional approaches, the timeless principles of Ayurveda offer one of the best truly holistic perspectives out there.

Keen to kick-start your fertility journey with this ancient wisdom? The Thrive Journey platform offers the following online programs:

Hop over to Thrive and sign up to their virtual health hub, to access these courses plus a wealth of other resources created to support you physically, emotionally and mentally through your journey to conception.

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