Secondary Infertility is Just as Painful

by Erin Gray [G+] | on 19th February 2013 |

Secondary Infertility is Just as Painful
There is a type of infertility that doesn't get much attention and very often gets little sympathy for those dealing with it. Secondary infertility is when a couple already has one or more children, but when trying for another, they are unable to conceive after a year. This type of infertility is just as widespread as primary infertility, despite the lack of press, affecting 11% of couples.

Secondary Infertility is Just as Painful

Because secondary infertility occurs with couples who already have at least one child, these couples tend not to get a lot of support. Instead, family, friends and even healthcare professionals will often downplay the feelings of couples who can't get pregnant again. There is a tendency to say that these couples should be happy that they were able to have even one child.

Besides the pain of not being able to conceive another child, the couples very often wait far longer to seek help than they should. They figure they could conceive before so there shouldn't be a problem and they keep trying on their own for well over a year or more. In some cases, this could make a fixable problem permanent so it's never a good idea to put off discussing things with a doctor.

When Should You Consult a Professional
Statistically, most women who are trying to get pregnant will conceive within one year so if you've been deliberately trying for pregnancy for 12 months without success, you should definitely consult a doctor. If there is an organic cause to the infertility, the longer it goes on, the more likely the problem will get worse, such as with fibroids.

Women over 35 should consult their physician after only six months of trying to conceive because the older you are, the higher the risk factors. It's not like you can't keep trying as you seek help, but this way you'll increase your chances of getting pregnant sooner, rather than later.

Just because you've had a child before doesn't mean that you conceive again. Don't let that hold you back from seeing a professional and if your doctor doesn't listen to your concerns, find one who will.

Causes and Treatments
Secondary infertility can be caused by the same exact things that cause primary infertility. Men may have a low sperm count or poor sperm motility. Women may have ovulation problems, fibroids, endometriosis or fallopian tube issues. Age or weight may even be a factor, depending on how long a time period elapses after the last pregnancy.

Infertility issues can be complex combinations of the above or other factors, which doesn't make things any easier. Even worse, there are times when you can go through all the testing in the world without finding a cause for the infertility. There is still just too much we don't know about the body and the reproductive system to say with any authority that there isn't a reason that has yet to be discovered.

Testing for secondary infertility is also the same as primary infertility. Both people must be examined and tested to determine if there is an identifiable, organic cause for the inability to conceive.

With the causes and testing the same for both secondary and primary infertility, it will come as no surprise that treatments are also the same. Surgical interventions may be needed, in the case of diagnoses such as endometriosis or fibroids. Men may need interventions to encourage sperm production.

When these things don't work, the standard options are still available including fertility drugs, IVF or IUI. Ultimately, if nothing works, couples also have the choice of adopting a baby or perhaps using a surrogate to have another child. These are all options that must be discussed with each other, as well as the doctor.

The Emotional Toll of Secondary Infertility
In some ways, secondary infertility can have an even bigger emotional impact on a couple than primary infertility. Anxiety, depression and even shame are common emotions with any type of infertility, but with secondary infertility, couples often don't get the emotional support they need. 

Friends and family members often don't understand your need to have another child. Not only do they fail to be supportive, some can be insensitive or even insulting about your desire to have more children. Comments such as “Isn't your child enough for you?” are frequently reported by couples dealing with secondary infertility and they say this results in them feeling guilty for wanting more children.

It's far more difficult for couples who already have at least one child to avoid being around groups that make them feel worse about not being able to conceive again. Child-oriented activities are part of their world and that will bring them into frequent contact with pregnant women and babies. This can be a very painful thing to face when you want nothing more but to get pregnant and can't.

Coping with Secondary Infertility
The first thing to do is recognize your right to have the feelings you have. It's okay to want another baby, no matter how many you've had already. It's also okay to mourn for the loss of that child if you can't end up conceiving. You have to allow yourself to grieve for that loss, no matter what anyone else tells you.

Joining a support group may be beneficial, particularly if it's specifically for secondary infertility. Many people find comfort and peace by sharing their story with others and realizing that they are not alone. For those with secondary infertility, a support group may be the only place to find people who understand the pain you're going through and that can be a big help in coping.

A therapist can often help in these situations. Often it is a good idea to see the therapist both as a couple and as individuals. Infertility can lead to a lot of issues between a couple and working through those issues with the therapist can do wonders. At the same time, men and women tend to feel different emotions and handle things differently, so individual therapy is also a good idea.

Video Source: Youtube

Sign up for our week by week
pregnancy guide

Copyright © 2012 Babiesbase.and respective owners. All rights reserved.
Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.


Contact Us
Terms and Conditions
Privacy Policy
About Us


Log In
Create an Account


1,000's of Moms talking about babies!