What is Secondary Infertility?

Secondary infertility is very common, but not often talked about. It can be defined as the inability to become pregnant despite already having one or more biological children.

When your first child was conceived easily, you may feel blindsided when you begin to have difficulty having a second child. But, you’re not alone. About 60% of the heterosexual couples reporting infertility had previously conceived without the help of fertility treatments.

Both men and women experience secondary infertility. There are many factors that may have occurred since the last pregnant that can adversely affect success this time around. One or both partners may have been exposed to environmental factors that can affect fertility. There are medications or illnesses that could impact ability to have children.

Age is often the most common contributor to secondary infertility. In fact, it is the leading cause of secondary infertility in women. You may have given birth previously, but now have advanced in age, causing both the quantity and quality of your eggs to lower.

Signs of Secondary Infertility

Other signs that it’s time to talk with an expert include:

Treating Secondary Infertility

If you have had one year of unprotected, well-timed intercourse, or if you have suffered from multiple miscarriages, it is recommended you consult with a reproductive endocrinologist-infertility specialist to discuss possible causes and options for treatment.

Regular female fertility testing might include blood work, intravaginal ultrasound, sonohysterogram (SHG), and/or hysterosalpingogram (HSG). Male fertility testing might also be suggested since a simple semen analysis can very quickly rule out male factor infertility.

Treatment options range from simple ovulation induction all the way to surgery or In Vitro Fertilization, depending on the age and physical conditions of both partners.

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