It’s estimated that 11% of couples struggle with infertility after they’ve already had baby – a condition known as “secondary infertility.” Many women assume that since they got pregnant quickly with their first child that the second will happen just easily.
It’s not uncommon for women with secondary infertility to be even more frustrated than women with primary infertility. There is often a sense of guilt and sadness since they already have a healthy child or children, yet they desire more. For these reasons, women with secondary infertility have a difficult time sharing their experience with friends or family, so they often feel isolated and alone during their infertility journey.
Secondary Infertility Causes
There are a variety of causes of secondary infertility, including complications from prior deliveries affecting future pregnancies (i.e. scar tissue in the uterus or fallopian tubes), maternal age, changes in lifestyle affecting sperm and egg quality, endometriosis, uterine and tubal factors, male factor and more.
Regardless of primary or secondary infertility, the general rule is you are under 35 years of age have been actively trying to conceive for up to a year or if you over 35 years of age for up to 6 months without success, then it’s time to see a fertility specialist.
Fertility Treatment for Secondary Infertility
It’s not uncommon for women with secondary infertility to wait longer to receive treatment. Sometimes we see couples in their 40s having tried naturally for a year before seeing a fertility specialist for their second or third child. As with all cases of infertility, the earlier the intervention, the better the chances of success.
The options to treat secondary infertility are the sae as primary infertility. After undergoing a comprehensive fertility work-up and identifying the potential cause of secondary infertility, your fertility doctor will recommend the treatment that is most optimal for the individual’s situation.