Secondary infertility can be described as when a couple has a child, but finding it difficult to conceive again, probably after few years or thereabout.
As a matter of fact, secondary infertility is bewildering and difficult to understand. You did not find it difficult getting pregnant previously, so, what is hindering your conception now?
A number of people think that primary infertility is common than secondary infertility which is not true. Primary infertility conceive. However, the chances are 50 / 50.
According to the Center for Disease Control, 11% of couples who already have a child go on to experience secondary infertility. That’s approximately 4 million families or about half of all infertility cases.
Couples going through secondary infertility might not consider seeking help from family members, friends and even doctors thinking it might make them feel less important.
After all, they have one child. Isn’t that enough?
The truth is that whether you’re struggling for just a child or more children, there is perplexity and pain to deal with. Therefore, handling secondary infertility has its own challenges.
You have visualized the type of family you desire. Your child may be asking for a sibling. The same medical causes of secondary infertility is related to primary infertility.
Causes of Secondary infertility
These causes are:
- Blocked fallopian tube
- Endometriosis: Abnormal tissue grows outside uterine lining.
- Male infertility: problems associated with low sperm count ie. Sperm shape or sperm movement
- Problems with ovulation: whether anovulation or irregular ovulation
- Hostile cervical mucus
- Recurrent miscarriage
- Problems with endometrium etc.
Research proved that about one-third of infertility cases are related to male infertility, another third are related to female infertility, and another third are related to problems in both the man and woman or remain unexplained.
Why Can’t I get Pregnant This Time Around?
This is the biggest question on the minds of those experiencing secondary infertility. Secondary infertility may strike when one is older. For instance, if you had your first child at 33, and you are trying for a second at 37, it implies that your fertility has naturally declined.
Age is a major factor in secondary infertility.
You’ve gained weight: This can also affect fertility. Being over or underweight can lead to ovulation problems in women, and possible impact sperm health in men.
New parents often gain weight (partially from the pregnancy, partially from the stress and lack of sleep.) This may be enough reason to push you to the infertile side.
Probably a new health problem: perhaps you or your partner developed diabetes. Maybe he’s taking medication for high blood pressure. Or, perhaps you are suffering from other health challenges.
Any of these illnesses may have adverse effect on your fertility or require medication that can affect your fertility.
The last pregnancy or birth led to fertility problem: pelvic infection or multiple D&C procedures may cause blocked fallopian tubes or uterine adhesions
If you had a C-section, you might have developed scar tissue, which can also have adverse effect on your fertility.
There is no certain reason this time is different: often times, no one can say precisely why your particular fertility issue didn’t stop you from conceiving last time.
There is a lot about fertility that we don’t understand. No one has all the answers.
When Should You Seek Medical Help?
If you are under 35 years old, you should look for help if you do not get pregnant after one year of trying.
If you are already 35years old and above, try to get help after six months.
Also, no matter how old you are, if you have experienced two(2) consecutive miscarriages, you should get help.
Please don’t delay in getting help. Some causes of infertility worsen over time. Delaying help may decrease your odds of pregnancy success.
The fact that you conceived in the past doesn’t guarantee you will get pregnant again on your own. There is no fertility assurance for anyone
Testing for secondary infertility is the same as testing for primary infertility mostly. Both the man and woman need to be managed.
May be you are with a new partner, and one of you had a child before and the other has not. Does the “proven fertile” partner really need fertility testing? Yes they do.
As mentioned above, having had children doesn’t mean you can’t experience infertility.
Treatments may include:
- Fertility drugs: starting with the most commonly prescribed fertility drug Clomid. Injectable fertility drugs, known as gonadotropins.
- IVF, sometimes in combination with other assisted reproductive options
- Surgery, usually laparoscopic surgery, to repair blocked fallopian tubes, or to remove fibroids or endometriosis deposits etc
The earlier the treatment, the better for you.