All reproductive system infections need to be medically treated both for the woman and her partner, and as early as detected. The couple should refrain from intercourse during any infection and should abstain from attempting conception until they are both fully recovered and detoxified from any drugs taken. A return to normal fertility may be possible – dependant on the woman’s age and the severity of the infection – and this will be far more likely if infections are treated early.
In protecting against infertility, sexual hygiene for both lovers is very important. Simple things like always wiping from front to back, protecting against rectal bacteria, daily washing of the genitals, wearing loose cotton underwear or none whenever feasible, and self-inspection are all important. If you experience recurring infections of any kind, you should closely examine your diet and susceptibility of the immune system to stress. Yoga Cleansing should be undertaken for a while to assist with this along with practices for general reproductive health. See Prescriptive Yoga Program – “Cleansing and Healing”, page 2012, and General Women’s Health Programs, page 2009.
The Immune System and Illness. When a woman comes into her fertile phase her immune system is usually at its strongest. She feels good and looks good – her hormones have got her ready for fertilisation. If illness or stress occurs near that time, then ovulation can be delayed or the body may equally reject implantation. This is a natural response of the body not wanting the extra (short term) burden of an embryo or (long term) burden of a pregnancy when it is fighting off outside invasions.
What may start off as just a simple cold, a low level infection or the flu, if not attended to, can develop into a more serious constitutional illness which taxes our immune system and shuts down the fertility mechanisms. Recovery from this can take quite some time, during which conception can be difficult.
According to yoga, all instances of ill-health should be promptly addressed, especially if a woman notices malfunction of her reproductive cycle. To protect against this, a comprehensive program of yoga and meditation for general reproductive health should be followed, in conjunction with specific medical or holistic treatments should illness occur.
Cervical Erosion. Cervical Erosion is a cellular change which damages the mucus secreting crypts on the cervix. This can be caused by human papilloma virus (wart virus) or may also be an indication of pre-cancerous cellular changes which can be detected during
routine pap-smears. These crypts can also be damaged by surgical treatment of malignant cells by laser or loop excision. (See also “Common Reproductive Disorders”, page 103).
Any damage to the cervical crypts causes changes to the mucus secretions and the topography of the cervix, both of which harm the optimum environment for sperm’s journey towards the egg. This can cause extra difficulty in conception, especially where there is a low sperm count or poor sperm motility in the man.
To help overcome this, ejaculation during sex should be made as high up in the vagina as possible. This can be achieved by deep penetration from behind, or face to face with the woman's feet up on her partners shoulders. After sex the woman should remain prone for several hours.
Yogic treatment needs to address both people. For the woman, attention to general sexual hygiene and diet is important. As with any mild but chronic ailment, stress can aggravate the condition, indicating relaxation as an important part of treatment. See also Prescribed Yoga Program – ”Leucorrhoea”. The man needs to strengthen his sperm by addressing the areas of diet, alcohol, cigarettes, drug use, stress, mineral balance, and stress management.
Abnormal Body Weight. Extremes in body weight, such as obesity or anorexia, can both play a factor in a woman’s inability to conceive. This is of course nature’s way of protecting against the extra stress of a pregnancy. There are many factors affecting abnormal body weight and many possible causes as well. Abnormal weight per se, is not necessarily a cause of the infertility but more likely a symptom of other disorders which should be investigated. Some of these may relate to genetic disposition, dietary and lifestyle factors or, more rarely thyroid and pituitary malfunction. Whilst addressing all areas of possible cause, attention to a balanced diet, regular exercise and emotional relaxation are important elements in maintaining correct body weight and optimum health.
Diet. Poor diet can affect so many aspects of a woman’s reproductive health. Most directly, nutritional deficiencies can affect the interplay of hormones that release the ova and prepare the endometrium for implantation. Symptoms of this can be very short cycles, and light bleeding. Consulting a dietician, naturopath or yoga therapist with specialist knowledge in this field is advised in conjunction with a Prescriptive Practise Program applicable to any particular menstrual disorders.