Most people think about primary infertility when they hear the word “infertility.” However, secondary infertility is something prospective parents face too. The difference is simple: Primary infertility affects a woman’s first pregnancy whereas secondary infertility affects any pregnancies thereafter. About three million American women of childbearing age who have given birth to one baby struggle to conceive or carry to term another.
At Fertility Solutions, we understand that secondary infertility can be confusing and frustrating. Many patients ask, “If I was able to conceive without treatment previously, why do I need it now?” This is a valid question, and we want to ensure that secondary fertility becomes less of a mystery.
What causes secondary infertility?
Just as with primary infertility, secondary infertility has several possible causes:
- Male factor infertility due to impaired sperm production, function or delivery
- Female factor infertility due to fallopian tube damage, endometriosis or uterine disorders
- Residual side effects of prior pregnancy, delivery and/or surgery
- Changes in weight
- Age and fertility
- Use of certain medications
How can you be prepared to overcome secondary infertility?
If you’ve already had children and plan to have another, one way to keep your body ready for pregnancy is to treat your subsequent pregnancies as though each is your first. That means doing all the things you did the first time around, such as:
- Talking with your doctor about your plan to have another baby
- Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise
- Practicing healthy behaviors such as getting enough sleep, avoiding alcohol and nicotine, etc.
Another highly proactive option is to consider the benefits of fertility preservation. This involves freezing your eggs or sperm and tapping into your banked reserve if you need to undergo intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF) or another fertility treatment for secondary infertility.
It can be frustrating to deal with secondary infertility, especially because you’ve been able to conceive and carry to term previously. If you’re ready to preserve your fertility or find yourself dealing with secondary infertility, please contact our fertility specialists today. We’ll work with you to continue to grow your family.