Most people, after they conceive their first child, they find it very difficult to birth more children and sometimes, society makes it more difficult and affiliate it to spiritual problem. Scientists from different parts of the world are saying this case is called secondary infertility.
Dr Sreelakshmi Atluri, an infertility specialist from the University of Health Sciences, India has recently spoken on coping with this fertility issues in a post published on pinkvilla website. She said it can be frustrating and seeking answers for the constant difficulty in conceiving after your first pregnancy can be more exasperating. This is where the concept of secondary infertility comes in.
Secondary infertility is the inability to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term after you’ve already had a baby, and it’s more common than you might think, accounting for about 50 percent of infertility cases.
Couples who fail to achieve a successful pregnancy after 12 months of regular unprotected intercourse, can term this as infertility.
Atluri said: “There are essentially two types of infertility: primary and secondary. Primary Infertility is when a couple has never conceived. While this is a widely known and accepted fact, but most people are quite ignorant about secondary infertility, which is the incapability to get pregnant after previous pregnancy regardless of the outcome (abortion/ live birth).
“This can include a range of challenging emotions such as sadness, hopelessness, confusion, frustration, and even guilt amongst couples,” she added.
The fertility expert stated that whether one has been formally diagnosed with secondary infertility, or are experiencing early predicaments with getting pregnant again, this is a pressing matter which people should be aware of to handle the challenges associated with it in a better way.
Speaking on the causes of secondary fertility, Atluri noted that there is a long list of diseases and conditions as well as the frustrating unexplained infertility catchall that can cause issues. She noted that it is important to know that both women and men can contribute to infertility.
Another research published in rmanetwork.com shows that about one-third of cases originate in women and about one-third originate in men and in the remaining one-third, the cause is due to a combination of factors that are still unknown.
A reproductive endocrinologists, Dr Scott Morin from Northern California also gave a list of the causes and explained how it can be treated. He said the major cause of primary and secondary infertility often share similar causes, and the most important thing to understand and accept is that.
According to him, in the vast majority of cases, infertility is not anyone’s fault. Though this doesn’t make it easier to cope with the impasse, it can help couples to feel more empowered to find evidence-based solutions that may help them to conceive successfully.
He also listed most of the common causes of infertility in general, which usually relate to secondary infertility: Impaired sperm production, function or delivery in men. Fallopian tube damage, ovulation disorders, endometriosis and uterine conditions in women. Complications related to prior pregnancy or surgery.
Morin said risk factor changes for you or your partner, such as age, weight and use of certain medications.
Treatments for secondary infertility
“If someone is younger than 35 and has frequent, unprotected sex but can’t conceive even after a year, it is advisable to have medical intervention. Earlier evaluation is recommended in case a woman is 35 years or older or she has other infertility risk factors such as infrequent periods or endometriosis. Basis criticality, couples should consider medical evaluations, as doctors or fertility consultants can help determine whether there is a pressing issue that requires urgent intervention.
“If one has previously conceived easily, this condition might feel scarier and unfamiliar and complicated too, however, the treatment for even this kind of infertility first starts with identifying its cause and then going ahead with required treatment options such as medical assistance, surgery and assisted reproduction (ART) if required, he advised.”
Dr Morin explained the reason a woman would experience secondary infertility, he said a woman is born with all the eggs she’ll ever have, and that supply slowly decreases as she releases eggs every month during her menstrual cycle. So as a woman ages, she has fewer eggs, and fewer good quality eggs – both factors that reduce her chances of getting pregnant naturally.
“Generally, a woman is most fertile in her mid- to late-20s, after which point her fertility begins to decline slowly until age 35 when the decline accelerates. That said, every woman is different, and that decline can begin earlier or later. Because fertility declines with age, it’s possible – and even common – for women who had no trouble getting pregnant with their first child to struggle to conceive the second time around, when they are older and less fertile,” Dr Morin said.