For many couples who have had a child in the past, the thought of secondary infertility comes with strong feelings of denial. They often believe that because they have one child already, they must be fertile. However, there are many factors, including age, uterine abnormalities, or effects of reproductive surgery that can impact your ability to have another baby
A blog by Jessi Wallace, July 7, 2015
It’s now halfway through 2015, and we have yet to get pregnant again. Over the last three years, we tried natural remedies to get me to ovulate, we tried Femara/Letrozole a few times with no ovarian response, and we went back to my trusty old friend: Clomid. However, Clomid apparently forgot that we used to be best friends. We tried to tango several times, but as each month passed and my response continued to decline, we were left with nothing but my polycystic ovaries, a thin uterine lining, and a broken heart.
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. As women reach their mid- to late-30s fertility begins to decline rapidly; waiting can further complicate the issue.
Secondary infertility refers to couples who have had a successful pregnancy in the past, but then experience difficulty with conceiving. Part of this may be explained by age, especially if their last pregnancy was achieved in their late thirties or early forties. In young, healthy women, the average monthly pregnancy rate is approximately 20%. As women age, this rate starts to decline, especially after 35 because both the number of eggs, as well as the quality of eggs decline with age. Additionally, the miscarriage rate also increases with age which can usually be attributed to the quality of the eggs.
Secondary infertility is something I never knew anything about until it happened to me. It is more common than I realised too. With it comes many emotions. One such emotion which really overwhelmed me was guilt. Guilt that I wanted another child when I had one already. Guilt that some people aren’t ever fortunate enough to have one child, yet here I was, with my beautiful daughter, feeling incomplete.
I have proof that good can come out of bad. Why? How? Let me tell you.
A few weeks ago I decided to start blogging. I decided to share my story. I don’t want to ruin it for you, but I want you to know it has a happy ending. Why am I telling you this? To explain why I wrote it in the first place. I’m going to be telling you the journey I went on to complete my family. My end result is a six-year-old girl and twins, a girl and boy, who are almost ten-months-old.
Investigations of the genome, medications, autoimmune diseases, and different components in our environment have served to provide evidence for an association to POF, POI, and early onset of menopause, explains Dr. Amber Cooper.
Infertility is often associated with emotional and physical stress including, anxiety, depression, weight gain or weight loss, and may lead to marital discord. Secondary infertility is no exception. This too can cause the same feelings and reactions. Add to this an extra ‘level’ of emotion with another child in the picture, also being affected by infertility.
Secondary infertility is classified as difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term after successfully conceiving and carrying one or more children. There is often a misconception that because a couple has conceived in the past, they will be able to conceive at any time in the future. Unlike primary infertility, secondary infertility is more difficult to diagnose due to the fact that couples hesitate to seek treatment. Often, they feel guilty for their desire to have another child and settle on the idea that maybe their family of three was meant to be.
Whether you’ve battled primary infertility or having your first child was a breeze, many couples do not realize that they are at risk for secondary infertility. Some believe that having a baby after primary infertility suddenly flipped the “fertility switch” so they will not experience difficulty conceiving in future attempts. Those who have never faced fertility struggles may be taken by surprise when they realize they are not getting pregnant as easily as expected.