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Many parents want to grow their families and have siblings for their children. However, some families are susceptible to secondary infertility. In fact, more than 3 million people of childbearing age in the U.S. who have one biological child have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying another to term.
Secondary infertility affects both males and females and results in difficulty in becoming pregnant or carrying a pregnancy full-term. Unfortunately, treatment for secondary infertility is less sought after than primary infertility. One reason is the perception that is previously having children indicates the family should be able to do it again. If you suspect or know your family is experiencing secondary infertility, continue reading to learn more about it!
As mentioned, secondary infertility is the ability to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy full-term after having successfully given birth at least once. Issues regarding secondary infertility can be explainable or, unfortunately, unexplainable. Common culprits of secondary infertility are issues of ovulation, fertilization, fertilized egg movement, and implantation.
The underlying “source” of secondary infertility does not always affect just one person in the relationship. In fact, 35% of couples experiencing secondary infertility have female and male factors correlating to fertility struggles. In 8% of cases, the male factor alone contributes to fertility issues. Diseases and conditions can also play a role.
Couples experiencing secondary fertility should be weary of falling into hurtful behaviors of:
Approximately one-third of secondary infertility cases are linked to the female partner, leaving the other third to the male partner, and 30% of cases have unknown causes. Therefore, about 70% of secondary infertility cases have identifiable causes. What are they? The reason varies depending on the male or female link.
Secondary infertility can be caused by other injuries, conditions, illnesses, and medications not previously listed.
Secondary infertility is not a “thief in the night” where fertility is there one day and gone the next. Often, there are signs and symptoms apart from the most obvious of the inability to become pregnant or successfully have a live delivery (usually resulting in miscarriage). Commonly, the signs and symptoms correlate with the results of the causes mentioned above.
Of course, signs and symptoms can also be associated with the typical signs and symptoms connected to diseases, conditions, and medications that directly affect secondary infertility. It is recommended to seek diagnosis when couples of 35 or younger have unprotected sex for 12 months (6 months if older than 35) without pregnancy and successful delivery. Women over 30 should also seek diagnosis if experiencing pelvic inflammatory disease or irregular menstrual cycles.
Often, healthcare providers downplay the possibility of secondary infertility in their previously fertile patients. Many are encouraged to keep trying.
When you should consult a fertility specialist:
Thankfully, secondary infertility treatment options exist to help couples conceive and give birth again. The type of treatment will depend on the causes and sex of the person receiving treatment.
Starting or continuing your pregnancy journey is exciting but can sometimes be difficult. Families need to consider the challenges before, during, and after pregnancy. Contact us today and see how cord blood banking can help your family! At Anja Health, we are ready to help you prepare for your family’s future.