Secondary infertility is the inability for one to become pregnant or carry a baby to term after they’ve already given birth. It shares many of the same causes and hallmarks of primary infertility and affects approximately 3 million women in the United States.
Causes of Secondary Infertility
Secondary infertility can have a number of causes, many of which are the same as primary infertility. Some of these causes include:
• Endometriosis, or the buildup of uterine tissue outside of the uterus
• Damage to the fallopian tubes from a previous pregnancy
• Diminished ovarian reserve
Some cases of secondary infertility may lie with the father instead of the mother. This can be the case if the father has a low sperm count or other issues that may prevent him from impregnating the mother even if he’s fathered a child already.
Age may also be a factor in secondary infertility. Medical research suggests that a woman is born with all the egg cells that she will ever have and that she will ovulate her most fertile eggs first. If this is true, then it means that an older woman will have more trouble conceiving a child even if she has yet to reach menopause.
When to Seek Treatment for Secondary Infertility
It is recommended that individuals should seek out a fertility specialist if they’ve failed to conceive a child for eight to 12 months. Women over the age of 35 should also see a professional if they wish to have children even if they’ve already given birth. Both primary and secondary infertility can have many causes, so it is crucial that you and your partner discuss any underlying medical issues that could impact either of your fertility.
Women who experience secondary infertility are less likely to seek treatment than those experiencing primary infertility. The reasoning often is that they’ve given birth before, so they feel that they shouldn’t have trouble doing so again.
If you believe that you may have trouble conceiving a child, or you have any other questions about your fertility, don’t hesitate to speak to one of our medical professionals. Our office offers telehealth visits, so you do not have to see someone in person to receive medical care.