Secondary Infertility

Secondary Infertility

It is not that all uncommon for couples who have already had a child to have difficulties getting pregnant with another baby. For many people, however, having these difficulties takes them very much by surprise. When you have difficulties getting pregnant with another baby after having already had a baby, it is known as “secondary infertility.”

There are a variety of things that can cause secondary infertility. One of the most obvious causes of secondary infertility can be age. Women tend to peak in terms of fertility in their early and mid twenties. Fertility slowly declines up until the age of 35, at which point fertility tends to drop off at a much more rapid rate. By the time a woman reaches the age of 45, she is, at best, about 6% likely to conceive per cycle without any sort of fertility interventions. This is due to the fact that older eggs sometimes may lose their quality, and are less likely to become fertilized. While it is not as significant a factor for men, some research does suggest that male sperm tends to become lower in quality and quantity as a man ages, as well.

Another factor that can create difficulties getting pregnant with another baby is any number of physical conditions. Some women who have had a baby may develop some form of tubal blockage. They might also develop abdominal adhesions. Both of these things can cause infertility, and both can occur after a successful first pregnancy. Other conditions, such as endometriosis, may not develop until after a woman has already had a baby. These conditions can create difficulties getting pregnant with another baby as well.

Changes in general health, that occur with age, can be a factor, as well. If a woman becomes obese, she may find that her ovulatory cycle is being interrupted. Low body fat can also interfere with ovulation. Using alcohol, tobacco, and illicit substances can also create damage to the reproductive system that may not have been present when the couple had their earlier child or children.

There are any number of sexually transmitted diseases and infections that may be acquired after having had a baby that can cause secondary infertility. These can include pelvic inflammatory disease for women, and epididymitis for men.

Unfortunately, the most daunting diagnosis of secondary infertility is “unexplained secondary infertility”. When all the testing comes back and “everything is in perfect working order” you will receive the unexplained label. A positive of this diagnosis is that your chances of getting pregnant with assistance from a fertility specialist is greater. Just be sure you have a doctor that is board-certified infertility specialist. Specialists with this label are OB/GYN who have received specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. The additional training could be the difference between you getting pregnant or not.

Many of the causes behind having difficulties getting pregnant with another baby can be treated medically. If you are having difficulties getting pregnant with another baby, you should consult with your healthcare provider. She may be able to help diagnose and treat your secondary infertility.