Most couples that have a child together assume getting pregnant again will be as simple the next time around. But that’s not always the reality. In fact, a report by the National Center for Health Statistics estimated that more than 3 million US women with one child have a difficult time getting pregnant again — or even carrying another baby full-term.
This situation is called Secondary Infertility. Secondary infertility is the inability to become pregnant or to carry a baby to term after previously having a child. If you have frequent, unprotected sex but don’t become pregnant – after a year if you are younger than 35 or after six months if you’re 35 or older – you maybe suffering from secondary infertility. It can be surprising, confusing and frustrating for a couple to understand and accept. There are a variety of underlying causes of secondary infertility:
Advanced reproductive age: A woman’s age is the most common reason for secondary infertility. So, while a woman was able to conceive without issues several years ago, over time egg quantities may have decreased. A woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever have. As a woman gets older, her ovarian reserve will diminish. This means that her egg quantity and quality will decline, while the chance of miscarriage will increase. This is true whether or not she conceived easily in the past.
Pelvis & Fallopian Tube structure: Pelvic adhesions – which may be caused by endometriosis or prior abdominal surgeries – may make it difficult for the egg to be picked up by the fallopian tube. Also, intrauterine adhesions may have developed during the prior delivery, which can make getting pregnant difficult.
Sperm quality & quantity: The volume and motility of a man’s sperm can be adversely affected by health, weight and/or new medications.
Weight gain: Weight plays a big factor in trying to conceive. Excessive weight gain can contribute to ovulatory dysfunction and cause abnormal ovulation. Increased weight in a man can increase estrogen levels, which can also negatively affect sperm production.
Smoking: Cigarette smoking negatively affects both male & female fertility. Additionally, if a woman gets pregnant, smoking will put the pregnancy at a higher risk.
If you have a child and are concerned about secondary infertility, Fertility Institute of San Diego can help guide you through this difficult process. Our team will work with you and your partner to best understand your situation and the treatment deemed most successful to help you achieve another child. To learn more, you can visit: https://www.fertilityinstitutesandiego.com/our-services/fertility-treatment/