Ayurveda has always emphasized elaborately on the right age for the couple, the preparations to unite for progeny and the instructions for a healthy pregnancy. The prime focus is to give birth to a healthy baby and to ensure the health of the mother. Ayurveda texts have detailed regimens to be followed by a girl who reaches the menarche and attains puberty.
Ayurveda exponents have mentioned the minimum age of a couple to be 16 and 21 respectively for a female and male. Relating the age to contemporary settings and unisexual career based lifestyle the ideal age for a healthy pregnancy and childbirth can be coined as between 24-30 for a woman.
Ayurveda explains four essentials for pregnancy. The health of each of these four components is very necessary for a health progeny. These components are collectively termed as Garbha Sambhava Samagri or Essentials for Possible Pregnancy. Garbha Sambhava Samagri includes Rithu, Kshetra, Ambu and Beeja. Rithu is the age of the couple, season and very importantly the ovulation cycle of the woman. Rithu is age factor of both the couple especially women as the carrying and delivering responsibilities are vested upon women by nature. Chances of conceiving are as high as 25% every month when the couple are in their 20’s, As the age advances and nears the 40’s chances of conception diminish to than 5% every month. Majority of the miscarriages happens in the 30’s of a woman. After 35, there is a depletion in the quality of the ovum.
A normal sperm cell matures in 74 days. A normal semen count is 200 million sperms per ml per ejaculation. Sperm quality is better in younger men. Sperm volume and motility is the most affected and decreases with age.
Kshetra is the uterus where the baby has to embed, nurture and grow. Kshetra also implies the organs where the sperm, semen, ovum and other essentials of pregnancy are stimulated, produced, secreted, transported and deposited. Ambu is Nutrition. Nutrition to the sperm, ovum and the fetus. In the broader sense, Ambu can be the nutritional status of the couple and their optimal healthy physiology.
Beeja is the male and female gametes the Sperm and Ovum. If any of these factors are structurally or functionally impaired chances of conception decrease and even if it happens chances of a healthy pregnancy or a healthy child reduces.
Hidden among the lines of Garbha Sambhava Samagri is a mutual understanding, mental compatibility, love and above all the desire for a child among the couple. Rest will follow, yet there are certain things to be aware of while preparing for pregnancy.
A woman with a normal reproductive system is born with 2 million eggs, which mature and reduce to about 40,000 by puberty. Among these, just 450-500 eggs mature as Ova in a lifetime and these are the female gametes available for fertility and pregnancy. Increase in age is inversely proportional to the quality and quantity of oocytes. As the age nears 40, the ovarian reserve or follicle pool will diminish naturally. Whatever remains would not be as healthy as their predecessors. This is one of the major reasons for miscarriages and chromosomal anomalies. Pregnancy at and above 35 are considered high-risk pregnancy by default because of the relatively higher chances of chromosomal defects like Down Syndrome etc.
Hence a conclusion can be drawn that fertility and pregnancy are inversely proportional to age. If one is looking for a healthy child it is always better to plan at the right age.
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