Mind-Body Spiritual Approach to Secondary Infertility
Christina Kovalik, NMD, LAC
Infertility affects approximately 10% of couples of childbearing age. It can become frustrating for couples who are experiencing any fertility issues. It is very important to address the mind-body and spiritual connection to fertility challenges, specifically secondary infertility.
Secondary infertility occurs in couples who have had a child, yet who have been trying to conceive without success or may be unable to maintain a pregnancy. Often there are different stressors associated with a couple who already has a child but desires another. It is essential to evaluate the root cause of the imbalance in both partners. It is my belief that there is always an emotional component to illness, disease and imbalance.
When both partners have been evaluated by a reproductive endocrinologist and there is no physical cause found for the infertility, then it is especially important to address the emotional component. Often the emotional blocks for fertility issues may be underlying fears about being a parent or of being like their parents, past trauma, thoughts or communication problems with their partner, or not connecting to the patient’s true desires of parenthood. I have found that a comprehensive approach with weekly acupuncture treatments, nutrition, herbal therapy and emotional clearing of past traumas allows the body to become clearer and more receptive to healing. This process allows the patient to become aware of where in their body they may be carrying the dense energy that may be preventing pregnancy. Bringing awareness allows the ability to clear at the cellular level. This creates a safer, healthier space for the baby.
A 36 yo female G4P1 presented with secondary infertility. She had been trying for 2-1/2 years to conceive. She had no initial problems conceiving the first child 4 years ago. She had an ectopic pregnancy at 11 wks 4/2006 and was put on methotrexate for 5 months. She had 2 more pregnancies ending in miscarriage in 4/2007 (6 wks gestation) and on 8/07 at 12 weeks positive heartbeat. Her OB tested Rh factor, FSH, LH, estradiol, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone and TSH – all WNL. She also had a normal hysterosalpingogram with no history of infections. She had 2 unsuccessful intrauterine inseminations. The semen analysis showed slightly low normal morphology.
LMP: 7-29-09 regular cycles every 30-33 days. The quality of flow is moderate with 3-4 days of bright red flow with small brown clots. Breast tenderness, irritability, acne, HA and LBP prior to menses.
BMs: 1 qod well-formed.
Pulses overall slippery, soggy and thin. Tongue: orange scalloped sides, swollen, slightly purple center, red tip, no distention.
TCM DX: Liver Qi Stagnation with Heat, SP Qi Xu and Ki Qi Xu.
- BBT charting, fertility scope and timing intercourse on days 8,10,12,14,16,18 and with ovulation spike.
- Exercise 3-5 times/wk, 20-30 mins/d.
- Prenatal vitamin, flaxseed ground 1-2 Tbsp per day, and a TCM supplement with Bupleurum and peony 3 tabs bid.
- Initial consult and acupuncture treatment with husband – advised to take vitamin C 1-2 grams qd, zinc 30 mg, beta-carotene 25,000 IU, and Astragalus 60 gtt qd.
- Acupuncture: Day 15 of cycle- focused on promoting ovulation-LV3,LI4,Sischong, moxa Ki-1, Zigong, Sp6, Ki26, CV4, St36, Gb40, Ki6, Du20 Ear: Shenmen, Pt. zero, Thalamus, Endocrine
- Follow up weekly for acupuncture treatments.
During the acupuncture treatments, we discussed the emotions around the miscarriages. The patient released the disappointments, fears of it happening again, or that something was wrong. The one thing that helped her the most was giving her a different viewpoint of why the losses occurred. We discussed her beliefs surrounding parenthood and family. She realized that there was a sacred contract between her and the babies that was fulfilled. Her energy shifted and she immediately felt lighter.
After 3 treatments she was pregnant and is now expecting twins. She continued getting acupuncture treatments through her first trimester and is doing very well.
Christina Kovalik, NMD, LAc, is a naturopathic medical doctor and acupuncturist. She is a family/primary care practitioner with a special interest in women’s health, specifically infertility, PMS, endometriosis, menstrual irregularities, hormone imbalances, menopause, pre and post natal support, and gynecology. Dr. Kovalik graduated from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ, and the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture in Phoenix, AZ. Dr. Kovalik completed an externship assisting an OB/Gyn for almost 2 years and understands the importance of integrating medicine for various women’s issues. She also wrote her Master’s Thesis on Acupuncture and Female Infertility. She teaches classes on Expecting Parent Transition and Mind Body Spiritual Connection to Fertility Challenges with Energy Medicine. She is the Director of the American Medical College of Homeopathy Fertility Clinic. She has training in the QuantumPathic Energy Method. She uses various natural modalities such as Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy, Nutrition, Colorpuncture/Light therapy, Botanicals, and Energy Medicine to address the root cause of disease.