Secondary infertility causes are common for many people and accounts for up to 60 per cent of infertility problems. Many couples are waiting until their late thirties and early forties to have their first baby.
This means that when they decide to have another child that there may be some fertility issues that stand in their way. For instance, age can have a direct impact on how long it will take you to get pregnant.
Even so, does having secondary infertility mean that you can’t have another baby?
Just what is Secondary Infertility?
Secondary infertility is the inability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term, after one or more successful pregnancies. This is very different from primary infertility, where a couple is not able to conceive the first time.
Many women believe that if they’ve been pregnant once that there won’t be any problems getting pregnant a second or third time. However, just because you’ve been fertile once doesn’t mean that you’ll always be fertile.
If you’ve been trying to conceive without success after your first pregnancy there may be a reason for this.
Even though your doctor may tell you to just keep trying, if you’re still not pregnant after 9 months to a year, maybe it’s time to look for secondary infertility causes.
Why Are You Having Fertility Problems Now?
You may be asking why you’re having problems conceiving this time and not the first time you were pregnant. The secondary infertility causes are often the same as for primary infertility.
Or there may be some changes that have happened since your first pregnancy. Since your last pregnancy, you and your partner might have gone through some physical changes.
Have you had an infection or gained a significant amount of weight? Are you not taking good care of yourself and eating an unhealthy diet?
These seemingly small changes in your lifestyle can have a huge impact on your fertility.
Lower Egg Quality = Lower Fertility
As women get older, the quality and quantity of their eggs decrease. Depending on what age you are when you try to conceive a second time, the quality and quantity of your eggs may play a huge role in how fertile you still are.
Other causes of secondary infertility can include the following:
- PID (pelvic inflammatory disease).
- PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).
- Uterine adhesions.
- Exposure to toxins.
- Chronic medical factors, such as diabetes.
- Low sperm count.
Causes of secondary infertile problems can be found in both women and men.
Should You Seek Medical Help for Secondary Infertility?
If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for 9 months or longer without success, it’s time to talk to your doctor.
Your doctor will want to rule out as many causes of secondary infertility a possible before referring you to a fertility specialist.
There will be some cases where you’ll be referred to a specialist sooner, such as if you had problems conceiving with your first pregnancy.
Another reason for seeing your doctor for secondary infertility is if you’ve had one or more miscarriages.
Testing for Causes of Secondary Infertility
Once you’ve talked to your doctor about your problem conceiving, you may be asked to undergo testing to determine the cause.
Some of the tests that are available include the following:
- Blood tests to determine if there are problems with your hormone levels.
- Ultrasound to check for abnormalities with your fallopian tubes and uterus.
- Sperm analysis.
If you have blocked or scarred fallopian tubes, you may undergo laparoscopic surgery to correct this problem.
Laparoscopy is also used to treat fibroids and endometriosis which might be factors in secondary infertility.
It’s important that you be treated for any disorders and problems that are leading to your infertility as soon as possible.
With so many different advanced medicines and medical techniques available, you have a good chance of going on to conceive naturally without having to use infertility options such as IUI and IVF.
The Agony of Infertility
You and your partner may want to seek counselling if you’re experiencing secondary infertility problems that can’t be resolved.
Infertility can put a huge strain on your relationship as you both deal with the stress and anxiety of trying to get pregnant. You may find that family and friends are unsympathetic about your inability to have another child.
They may say that you should be happy that you at least have one child without any regard to your desire to have another baby. This can place an added burden on what you’re feeling at this time.
Talk to your partner about your options for fertility treatment. How far are you willing to go to have another child? The more communication there is between you, the better you’ll be able to face what can be a trying time in your life.