Reproduction is one of the basic characteristics of a living organism. By this mode it not only maintains its own harmony but also helps in propagation of its own kind. In mammals, pregnancy is the hallmark of reproduction and in humans in particular a female takes 9 months to let the fetus grow in her womb so that it becomes viable and can live or can endure the circumstances outside the womb, of course still under parents love and care.
Our topic does not go beyond the limits of 9 months. What we would be dealing with is the natural termination of pregnancy i.e. spontaneous abortions of various kinds and not MTP i.e. medical termination of pregnancy and the scope of homoeopathy in this particular context.
Living beings have continued to evolve over the ages and lots of animals and races have become extinct. Only those which have been able to maintain harmony amongst and within themselves and their environment (accessory circumstances) have survived the test of time. This has been the basis of evolution. And this has been named by Charles Darwini in his work of natural history Survival of the Fittest.
So to understand concept of abortion one must agree and develop insight for this concept of survival of fittest.
There are many fetal, maternal, paternal and unknown causes for spontaneous abortion. Few causes that can be enumerated are: Defective ovum, Defective sperm, Defective embryo, Hydatidiform mole or partial mole, Chronic maternal illness like severe anemia, heart failure, hypertension etc., Acute infections in mother like influenza, hepatitis, measles, CMV infection etc., Endocrine disorders like hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, diabetes etc., Trauma leading to certain development defects, Certain emotional factors can lead to congenital defects in turn leading to abortions … … and the list is endless.
If we meditate for a few minutes on all of the causes of natural abortion then we find that whatever be the cause, if the development of the fetus is such that its survivability inside or outside the womb would be compromised or if its development endangers the life of the mother, then the body of the mother, by its natural instinct tries to abort it. There are certain exceptions to it like abortions purely due to maternal causes like cervical incompetence, uterine fibroid, malformation of uterus, uterine inertia etc. Here due to the defects in mother she is unable to hold the child even though the child is healthy.
What we have talked above, as causes of abortion are only the proximate causes or the immediate causes. And for any event to happen, there can never be one cause responsible for it. There is always a Web of Causesii that lead to the happening of any phenomenon.
If we want to treat according to the principles of – Tolle Causum – i.e. remove the cause, how many causes we would be able to attribute to an event and how many would we be able to remove?
On the other hand if we move absolutely opposite to this approach that is, Cessat effectus cessat causaiii i.e. remove the effects and the cause will be automatically removed, we are at safer end. We can truly judge the effects of disease phenomena by the knowledge of physiology, pathology, practice of medicine etc. but for homoeopathic prescribing the effects or the symptoms known by the knowledge of above mentioned subjects is not enough. We need to have a deep insight of human nature, normal and abnormal psychology, anthropology etc. A thorough knowledge of these subjects will help us in detecting the characteristic symptoms of the patient as a person, as an individual.
Now while we are discussing about abortions, it must be borne in mind that abortion is just one of the effects. And we are not dealing with just one effect but the totality of effects, which give individuality to the case. This individualistic totality of effects will lead us to similimum.
There are many types of abortions according to their presentation:
a) Threatened abortion
b) Inevitable abortion
c) Complete abortion
d) Incomplete abortion
e) Missed abortion
f) Septic abortion
Out of all the various types mentioned above it is only threatened abortion where we can save the fetus and in the rest of the varieties the fetus can?t be saved rather we have to minimize the danger to mother. That is when we are giving medicine for threatened abortion it will try to save both the child and mother, provided all the accessory circumstances are also favorable or maintaining causes are removed, and the same medicine if given for inevitable abortion it will hasten the process because in both cases the medicine will be prescribed on symptom similarity to the patient as a whole.
Now a question arises that how it is possible that a medicine which will help in threatened abortion i.e. where we have to decrease the contractility of uterus and thus save the child, will also help in cases of inevitable abortion where we have to rather intensify its contraction for easier and faster expulsion? In simple words how does a homoeopathic medicine work in such cases?
It should be borne in every homoeopathic student?s mind that whenever we are dealing with any diseased organ, and here in reference to genital system of female, it becomes a window through which we can peep into him more easily and can see the patient as a whole. Now while visualizing the patient as a whole we come to a characteristic totality. The medicine thus prescribed on this fundamental does not see the pathology but simply intensifies the natural instincts of the vital principle towards cure. It triggers or intensifies the vital force of the vital principle and it takes care of the restiv.
Now about the potency, in homoeopathy the concept of dose or potency selection has its roots in Arndt Shultz Lawv, which states that a substance, which in large quantities is harmful and destructive, is stimulating in small or minimum quantities. This is the law, which makes the most potent poisons as most potent medicines. The choice of the medicine depends upon the susceptibility of the patient. And the susceptibility, apart from the kind of pathology, age sex, etc. also depends upon the clarity and fineness of the totality of the symptoms. The more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) (?153) the symptoms are the higher the potency can be. We must also not rule out the use of LM potencies in such cases.
We will now discuss a few homoeopathic remedies useful in the cases of abortion. I will restrict myself to this only and not talk about the management part, which should be followed strictly as in the other school of medicine.
Some therapeutic hints:
Aconite: Impending abortions from FRIGHT or Anger; Face expressive of fright, wide dilated pupils; Suddenness and violence; Mental and physical restlessness; Can?t tolerate music; Intolerable pains – drive her crazy, with tingling coldness and numbness; Intense thirst for cold water; Bright red hemorrhages.
Aletris farinosa: Habitual tendency to abortion in feeble, anemic persons of lax fibres; Great weakness of mind and body from a long sickness or lack of nutrition; Tendency for premature and profuse menses with labor like pains; Rectum loads up with faeces due to paretic condition.
Arnica: Hemorrhagic tendency in patient; Abortion in consequence of injury, trauma (Trauma can be of any type mental, physical or financial), falls, blows, contusions, strains etc; Sore bruised pains- It hurts to move; Even in serious condition patient complains of nothing- SHE SAYS I?M WELL- such an extreme condition of mildness is seen; HEAD IS HOT AND EXTREMITIES ARE COOL; Feeling as if the fetus was lying crosswise; Fear of approach; BLUENESS.
Aurum mur natronatum: Habitual abortion in the same month of pregnancy due to induration of some part; Tendency for high blood pressure; Profound depression and disgust of life; Feeling of utter worthlessness with self-condemnation; Suicidal thoughts.
Chamomilla: Abortion from ANGER; EXCESSIVE IRRITABILITY, snaps at everybody, can?t give a civil answer, with more or less agony and restlessness; Labor pains begin in back, pass down to inner surface of thigh with great nervous excitement; PAINS WITH NUMBNESS, > PASSIVE MOTION; Over sensitiveness from abuse of coffee and narcotics; Impatient; One cheek red and hot, other pale and cold; Hot sweat on scalp.
Plumbum: Patient looks very much emaciated, anemic, pale, greasy and older than her age; Slow perception, memory is lost, unable to find proper words; Great tendency for recurrent abortion because the muscular fibres of the uterus do not stretch in proportion to the developing fetus; Pain in the abdomen as if a string is being pulled from abdomen to back; Disposition to yawn and stretch in every direction; Appetite is lost; Severe constipation with fecal vomiting.
Pyrogen: Septic condition produced by an abortion is remedied by Pyrogen; Discharge is horribly offensive; Fever is very high and the pulse is disproportionately higher, profuse hot sweat which does not relieve; A distinct consciousness of heart-a tired feeling; Restlessnes- constantly changing the position; Aching in limbs- the bed feels too hard; > motion; Delusion as if the parts were lying scattered.
Secale cor: Suited to dusky, scrawny and hemorrhagic females; Pale, sunken and pinched face, sunken countenance; Abortions taking place more especially during 3rd month of pregnancy; Dark, liquid, incoaguable, exhausting blood; CRAVES ACID; ICY COLD BODY BUT DOES NOT WANT TO BE COVERED; Sensation as if sparks of fire were falling over the body; Fingers and feet bluish, shriveled, spread apart bent backwards.
Sepia: Abortion especially between 5th and 7th month; Easily faints; Butterfly across the nose; Ptosis in each and every part of the body- relaxation in all the parts (Psychopathology); The patient is very chilly and is weeping with her complaints; BEARING DOWN PAINS AND SHE MUST SIT WITH LEGS CLOSED OR PRESSED AGAINST VULVA.
Virtually any remedy of the Materia Medica from A to Z can be considered for the case in hand depending upon the symptom similarity. I have just described a few, which I have seen being prescribed successfully by my teachers.
Experience of the Masters shows that the pregnant ladies who undergo constitutional homoeopathic treatment throughout, have minimal chances of abortion (regard being given to accessory circumstances, which may pose as obstacles in treatment) thus giving birth to a healthy child ((284 footnote). This is the best Scope of Homoeopathy or rather the Preventive aspect of Homoeopathy!
i Theory of Natural Selection.
ii The Web of Life- Fritjof Capra; Epidemiology: Principles and Methods- B. MacMohan and T. F. Pugh
iiiIintroduction to the Organon of Medicine, 6th edn. by James Krauss.
iv Organon of Medicine (12, 16, 29 etc.; Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy by J. T. Kent- Lecture X, XI, XII, XIV etc.
v The Genius of Homoeopathy by Stuart Close
Dr. (Mrs.) Parul G. Wadhwani
Medical Officer (Teaching) Deptt. of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital