If you and your partner achieved to get pregnant and give birth to a child without having any problems, it doesn’t mean that everything will be as it should be the second time you try to get pregnant and give birth to a child. You and your partner might be having problems with secondary infertility, without knowing them. Don’t waste your time waiting to get pregnant, but seek medical help.
Secondary infertility is considered in cases when a couple has had a child in the past, but can’t get pregnant again. If you can’t get pregnant for the second time, despite having unprotected sexual intercourse for at least a year, you and your partner should get medical help. This period is shorter for couples who are over the age of 35. If they can’t get pregnant after six months of having unprotected sexual intercourse, they should seek medical help.
It has been estimated that approximately 30 % of infertility is secondary infertility.
The causes of secondary infertility are mostly the same as the one that causes primary infertility. Some of the most common causes of secondary infertility include:
The most common reason for secondary infertility is the mother’s age. Couples usually try to delay trying for another child. It never crosses their mind that they can have problems getting pregnant the second time. Once you had a child without a problem, you always thing that everything will be Ok, and that there is a lot of time for a second child. A natural decline in the function of the ovaries is the most important factor of fertility.
Depending on the circumstances, both you and your partner will need a detailed medical examination in order to determine what is causing secondary infertility. A woman should go and seek help at a gynecologist, while a man should go and seek help at an urologist. Depending from the medical examinations and evaluations they can determine whether you and your partner need to visit a specialist or need to get further treatment at a fertility clinic. However, focusing on specific factors that have changed for you and your partner since having the first child might help to get to the right diagnosis or solution for the problem. Infertility treatment is focused on the specific cause of the problem.
It is not easy to cope with secondary infertility. It can be surprising as it never crossed your mind that you and your partner could have problems getting pregnant, especially in cases when it was so easy to get pregnant the first time. Seek support from your partner, your family and friends. Talk to your health care provider and together with your partner you can decide which are the best options, for both of you, and which are the next steps in order to get pregnant and give birth to another child.
Dmitry Bronfman, MD, is a board-certified gynecologist who specializes in all aspects of contemporary women’s health, preventive medicine, pelvic pain, minimally invasive and robotic surgery, and general, adolescent, and menopausal gynecology.
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