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Houston Fertility Journal

Facts and Myths About Secondary Infertility

[fa icon="calendar"] Nov 3, 2016 1:47:26 PM / by Center of Reproductive Medicine   

Center of Reproductive Medicine

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If you are having difficulty getting pregnant with a second child, it is possible that you could be experiencing secondary infertility. If this is the case, either you or your partner has gone through a physical change that has affected your ability to conceive again. It is important not to jump to this conclusion, however. You will want to be sure you have been trying for at least a year before considering this as a possibility. If you are over 35, than you will want to investigate this possibility after 6 months. However, once you have reached this point, it is time to see a specialist.

The Facts

Your OBGYN, reproductive endocrinologist, or urologist will start by asking about you and your partner’s lifestyle changes and health conditions. There are some common factors that influence secondary infertility, but keep in mind that there are cases where the answers aren’t as easily defined. Some examples of factors that often play a part are:

  • Low sperm count and health of the man
  • Damage or harmful conditions that have developed in the female’s reproductive system, such as ovulation disorders or endometriosis
  • Issues developed from the prior pregnancy
  • Change in your weight
  • Change in your age
  • Certain medications
  • Smoking and/or drug abuse

A woman’s age is the most common reason for an unsuccessful pregnancy. Once a woman is over the age of 35 it is common that her egg quantity and quality will decrease. However, the male’s sperm count is also susceptible to the aging process. Unfortunately aging is unavoidable. 

The goal now is to not get wrapped up in what could have been done differently, but moreso what is the next step to take to hopefully grow your family. Do not be deceived by the many myths floating around about secondary infertility. They can only cause you stress and distract you from your goal. 

The Myths

It is always a good rule of thumb not to believe everything you read on the internet or hear at lunch with friends. The only people you should be listening to, concerning medical health, are your physicians. Some common myths about secondary infertility are:

  • If you’ve gotten pregnant before you can absolutely get pregnant again. As addressed above, there are a number of things that could have changed the way things function in you or your partners’ body.
  • If you haven’t gotten pregnant after a year of trying you are definitely infertile. After a year you should start considering secondary infertility as a possibility, but there may be other reasons for your lack of success.
  • If you are over 35 you are infertile. Your age could play a major role in your inability to conceive, but this does not mean it is impossible for you now. Everyone’s body is different.
  • Stress has made you infertile. Stress can have major effects on your systems functionality, but it cannot cause you to be infertile.
  • You are doing something wrong. Infertility is a medical condition. In most cases the issue is timing, not the technique in which you are doing things.

What To Do About It

There are a lot of options to consider for treating infertility.Depending on your case, you may decide to take medication, explore fertilization options, or consider a egg donor. Talk to specialists as soon as you can in order to address the position you are in and what may be the best way to give you what you need. Secondary infertility is an unexpected and difficult thing to process. The first step is to find someone you can trust to give you the right advice and help you make a productive change.

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Topics: Infertility, Male Fertility

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