What is secondary infertility?
Secondary infertility is the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after already successfully conceiving one or more children naturally. Couples assume that if they could do it the first time without any fertility issues, why would it happen the second time around. Unfortunately, infertility can happen the the second time around or the third, or forth, etc… It’s actually pretty common. Secondary infertility can account for up to 60% of infertility cases making it a real issue when trying to conceive again after already conceiving naturally.
One of the major issues with secondary infertility is that couples are less likely to seek help from a fertility specialist…most likely because they think nothing is wrong and it’s just taking more time to get pregnant this time around. Without help, they could be spinning their wheels and using precious time, especially if age is a factor. Often, couples are told to “keep trying” and if secondary infertility is the issue at hand, this can cause stress, heartache and can prolong the entire process of getting pregnant. According to a survey by the National Center for Health Statistics, 3.3 million American women were experiencing secondary infertility. This is a large enough number to show that it is an issue and should be treated as such.
Why do I have secondary infertility?
There are many reasons why you can have secondary infertility. These reasons are often the same reasons why couples experience primary infertility. See a fertility specialist to try and help diagnose your secondary infertility but some common reasons for secondary infertility include:
- you or your husband/partner got an infection since your last pregnancy
- you or your husband/partner gained weight
- you or your husband/partner changed your diet
- egg or embryo quality has changed
- sperm issues are now present – sperm count, morphology, motility, etc…
- ovulation problems
- uterine fibroids
There are many reasons you can have secondary infertility. Your lifestyle can be a huge factor in your fertility so check first to see if you have made any lifestyle changes that might be affection your fertility.
What can I do for secondary infertility?
It’s always good to see a fertility specialist if you have concerns regarding your fertility. It also goes back to the general rule that if you have been trying to conceive for one year by having regular, unprotected intercourse and have been unsuccessful, you should make an appointment with a fertility specialist.
Other reasons to see a fertility specialist include miscarrying, irregular periods, painful ejaculations and a loss of sex drive. These could be signs of infertility and should be checked out by a specialist.
Secondary infertility causing stress?
Since secondary infertility is not diagnosed as quickly as primary infertility and is often in the back seat, couples can experience increased stress. This can be harmful to your relationship and should be handled just as seriously as the infertility treatments you might need. Keeping a strong relationship between you and your partner will keep your stress levels down so you can focus on the primary task at hand…and that’s trying to get pregnant. You are both in this together so use this life experience to grow your relationship stronger. Your child will also see the stress so maintaining control of the situation is essential.
The good news is that secondary infertility can be treated just like primary infertility. If you suspect you have a fertility problem, get checked out. The sooner you find out the problem, the sooner you can get back on track to having your second, third or forth child.