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Secondary Infertility Support
Secondary infertility occurs when you are unable to get pregnant, despite having frequent unprotected sex for at least a year, after previously having another child. Because you have had a baby, it’s probably bewildering that you’re having difficulty conceiving this time. The fact is, secondary infertility is on the rise. Your doctor may say, “Give it time, it worked before.” However, as women reach their mid- to late-30s fertility begins to decline rapidly, and waiting can further complicate the issue.
You may be reluctant to talk about your wish for another child because you don’t want to seem greedy. There’s much less sympathy for women with secondary infertility than there is for those who have never been able to conceive! There are some other unique challenges as well:
- You are caught between two worlds: the infertility treatment world and the parenting world.
- Taking your child with you to medical appointments or having to get babysitters on a regular basis is challenging.
- You and your partner may disagree about having another child.
- The financial strain of treatment may be a concern when you are currently parenting.
- The pressure from your child to have a brother or sister can be painful.
- If you are from a big family, you may be sad at the prospect of having a small family.
- Infertility treatment can impact your children; they may worry about your frequent trips to the doctor or see you injecting fertility medications. Likewise, your emotional ups and downs can have an impact on your child.
If treatment is unsuccessful, deciding what to do next is challenging. You have to face the following questions:
- If you adopt, what would it be like to have a blended family?
- If you use donor egg or sperm will you share that information with all your children?
- What would it be like to have an only child?
If you have secondary infertility, recognize the unique challenges and take time to think them through. With support and information you can work through this.