What is secondary infertility?
What causes secondary infertility?
What are the possible treatment options?
If you had a baby Before, Can you be infertile now?
Yes! It is commonly referred to as secondary infertility.
Many couples who have conceived in the past without any hassles, may expect that they would be able to attain a second pregnancy just as easily. But that’s not always the case, in some cases, when they try again it makes it difficult for them which is referred to as secondary infertility. In this guide, we will go into detail about the causes and unique challenges that occur due to secondary infertility.
What is Secondary Infertility?
A woman’s fertility declines with age, sometimes it could be more difficult to conceive a second baby than it was with the first. Secondary infertility is the inability of a woman to establish a clinical pregnancy after a previous pregnancy whether carried to full term and gave birth or not.
Additionally, the previous conception has had occurred naturally without help from fertility medications or treatments. Secondary infertility is usually diagnosed after trying for 6 months to a year without positive results.
What Causes Secondary Infertility?
Sometimes problems getting pregnant for the second or subsequent time may be related to a complication that occurred in a prior pregnancy or before the delivery, like uterine scarring or damage to the fallopian tubes.
But most often, secondary infertility is caused due to the mere same factors that would cause primary infertility including issues such as advanced age, obesity, ovulation problems, impaired sperm production in men, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.
Other common causes include:
- Poor quantity/quality of eggs
- Problems with the uterus
- Genital infections
- Reduced testosterone levels
- Poor semen quality
The fertility rate of both men and women declines with age. If a couple is planning to have their first child at the age of 30 and after five years they try again, they could experience issues getting pregnant. Fortunately, undergoing fertility treatment could make it easier for them to get pregnant.
Just make sure that you consult a fertility doctor and make him/her understand your issues and discuss how to deal with them.
The Right Diagnosis
The right diagnosis is crucial to resolving your issues regarding secondary infertility. There are various reasons for secondary infertility. The couple needs to be evaluated. The doctor will do a regular health screening and ask you about your health status and medical records and treatment profiles that you had previously to boost your conception chances. Further, the fertility specialist will do an ultrasound to have a better picture of your uterus and ovaries, so if there are any other health problems, it could help to address them properly.
Getting the right treatment for secondary infertility
As per the diagnosis, the fertility specialist will tailor the treatment plan. In some cases, the patient may need to undergo surgical treatment for endometriosis or to remove scarring, or repair the blocked fallopian tubes.
However, in some cases, the doctor may perform intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF) in the first go to increase the likelihood of conception. If you have been planning for a second pregnancy but not able to do it then seek medical help right away.
What are the possible treatment options?
As with primary infertility, treatment depends on the comprehensive evaluation of test results and prognosis for various treatment options. If a woman has problems with ovulation, treatment might include taking fertility medicines to help regulate ovulation and produce more eggs.
In cases of women with fallopian tube problems, such as scars or other blockages, or other issues, surgery may be recommended, and IVF can be the most appropriate treatment.
Surgical removal of endometriosis lesions results in a pregnancy success rate of up to 80%, depending on the severity of endometriosis. IVF is recommended for severe endometriosis, severe tubal damage, and pelvic adhesions.
Women with severe uterine problems, such as scars or congenital abnormalities can build their family through a gestational carrier. In older patients with diminished ovarian reserve, the quality and quantity of eggs may decrease and hence the alternative is to use an egg donor, and this may be a more acceptable option.
For male factor problems such as poor sperm quality, erectile dysfunction, or other physiological problems, intrauterine insemination (IUI or IVF) may be recommended.
If you are planning a second pregnancy, and you have not accomplished your conception goals even after 6 months or a year after, it is time to consult a fertility specialist to seek help.
For more information, book your fertility consultation today with our fertility experts to dispel your doubts and get a reliable treatment plan.