This blog post is an excerpt from an article on one of my fertility cases that Homeopathic Medical Journal Hpathy published for me in July 2015.
Her head peaks around the corner of the door asking if I’m ready for her. I wave her in and a tiny figure wearing a bright pink and purple top walks through. Mary* is 43 years old but I wouldn’t have given her a year more than 35 and would have believed it if she told me she was 30.
Sitting down she tells me why she has come to see me. Although happily married for 8 years with who she calls her best friend, her heart’s wish has not been fulfilled yet: a little baby. They have tried for as long as they have been married and she has fallen pregnant only twice. Both pregnancies ended in miscarriages within the first trimester.
She speaks openly and easily about both her physical and mental symptoms and comes across very balanced and she says she forgives as easily as she gets angry and cries when upset. When I ask her more about the pregnancies she starts to cry. Mary is surprised by her own crying having thought she had processed her grief but she gratefully thanks me for letting her cry as she feels better for it.
Medical tests have not found any abnormalities for Mary except a few fibroids in the uterus which according to the gynecologist are normal for her age and not a problem for pregnancy. Infertility does not run in the family at all. During the miscarriages she experienced a bearing down sensation, a painful pushing on the vagina, and extreme nausea on smelling or eating food, with vomiting practically every 15 minutes. The last miscarriage also lead to cystitis which she had never had before. This last miscarriage was 5 years ago.
When I promise her that with treatment we can at the very least prepare her body for pregnancy and get her to be the happiest healthiest possible version of herself, she responds with “that sounds great to me, we have already accepted that God may never let me be a mother, but I want to do everything I can that is within my own power”.
Why no baby?
Although the gynecologist claims that Mary is in good enough health to conceive and says that the fibroids are not an issue for a pregnancy the latter could be questioned, as fibroids increase the risk of pregnancy complications and there are no other clear indications of why Mary has had the miscarriages. Perhaps she has even been pregnant more often than she thinks, but did the embryos never get a chance to implant due to the fibroids.
Mary’s short flow may be a clue as to why there is difficulty in conception as it may be due to a hormonal imbalance. Or perhaps it is a lingering candida and/or genito-urinary infection preventing conception. Or, is there possibly heavy metal contamination like mercury?
Perhaps it is more what I like to call “emotional infertility”. Does Mary’s body recognize that as a full-time carer already taking care of another human being 6 days a week does not leave much room for a baby? Is it her subconscious that is not allowing her body to conceive?
Of course we cannot leave out Mary’s age either. Nevertheless, if a patient is having regular cycles and if ovulation can be re-established, I do not see why there should be a problem with conceiving.
It is very rare that in the Western world we encounter patients with no drug layers at all but Mary never visited a hospital till the first miscarriage nor did she receive any medication at the hospital, nor did she take any antibiotics for the cystitis and she very rarely takes any pain killers. She makes very clear that she is adverse to taking anything and cares a lot about simple healthy food, drinking enough water and regular exercise. I was so very excited to once and for all test this minimal dose concept and decided that whatever repertorisation and analysis would bring up, if any case asked for a genuine minimal prescription it would be this one.
Upon repertorisation of general, emotional and physical symptoms, Sepia comes up highest, followed by Calcarea-Carbonica and Natrium-Muriaticum. Calcarea-Carbonica may very well be her core remedy considering her desire for basic types of food, her particular fear of graveyards, and her on-and-off periods in teens and 20s. Natrium-Muriaticum tempts me to consider whether there really isn’t more to the story especially since I cannot get a clear answer on her libido or why her husband does not let himself be tested or why he does not come to the consultations with her. However, Sepia is the only one of the three that covers both the miscarriages in the third month and the fibroids, which are the only clear symptoms possibly associated with Mary’s infertility. Other symptoms in the case also suiting Sepia:
- Bearing down pain with miscarriages in combination with nausea at the smell of food
- Premenstrual irritability with her husband
- General amelioration (improvement) after exercising (“I feel toxic if I don’t”)
- Fear something bad will happen to the family
- Dreams about babies (although this makes sense if you want to fall pregnant)
- Desire to be alone when crying; consolation aggravates
- Scanty (light), dark, clotted periods
A shift in the hormonal balance is to be expected next consultation, most likely evidenced by a heavier and/or longer menstrual flow.
New patients I always start on a 30c or lower even if the vitality of this case and lack of drug layers allows a higher potency. Three doses in 24 hours.
The following month
The following consultation Mary says she feels much lighter and less toxic ever since taking the Sepia. She has perspired more and loves that feeling. Also her emotions were more stable before her period and in general she feels happy with the remedy. I guess this minimal dose and minimal repetition still seems to work in our Western world today, even in the city!
She did have a bit of a headache again pre-menstrually and although her period was not longer, it was more profuse the second and the third day, as well as being bright red while before it was dark and clotted. It felt more like the type of menses she had in her teens. Music to a homeopath’s ears!
Mary tells me that she forgot to say last time that normally after her period she has a week of vaginal discharge which has a fishy odor but now after the remedy the odor was practically gone. Ha! Isn’t Sepia also known for foul smelling leuchorrhea? What a good example, especially to starting out homeopaths, that indeed you do not need to know each and every symptom of a patient to find a helpful simillimum.
Over a period of four months I prescribe Sepia to Mary several more times going up in potency. The vaginal discharge and odor stay away and the periods stay bright and regular but do remain short. Mary says she feels good, happy and healthy. She learns more about her body and charts her cycle to discover if she is ovulating. However, a month later she says she wants to stop treatment. She doesn’t expect to fall pregnant anymore but says she does not mind as she is so much happier and healthier for the treatment she has had.
Several months later she calls saying that she has been to the GP for recurring headaches. A blood test revealed raised prolactin levels which she never had before and so they want to book her for a scan the following month to check for a tumor on her pituitary gland. Anxiously she asks if homeopathy could do anything for her at all.
Not knowing whether there indeed is a tumor I decide to aim treatment at balancing her pituitary gland in case there isn’t a tumor at all but just a confused gland. The raised prolactin levels immediately make me wonder if the levels may have been slightly raised all along inhibiting ovulation, even if according to standard ranges her levels were normal.
Untangled and pregnant
It is truly miraculous how some patients go through a long process until suddenly their treatment and health unfolds like a jar that pops open after twisting and turning, or a knot suddenly untangling after pulling and pushing. Mary’s blood test after a month came back with her prolactin levels within a normal range and the scan that had been booked anyway came back clear; no tumor. A month after that she fell pregnant and this summer  her beloved baby girl will be turning one year old…
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.