Female Fertility

What Is Secondary Infertility

Having difficulty getting pregnant with a second baby, after having conceived a first child effortlessly, can be puzzling, shocking, and emotionally devastating. The feeling of guilt might even persist: Well…I know I am supposed to be happy, but I should not worry about it too much. I already have a child.

In our world, we refer to this condition as secondary infertility, and it can be highly distressing and upsetting for you. It is often the case that when people refer to “infertility,” they mean the inability to conceive a first child; but, secondary infertility can be very real and is much more common than you might imagine. 

If you are dealing with secondary infertility, there is good news for you. You are not alone in the struggle, and there are some treatments available to help you combat the problem in the present day. Yes, things will be different this time around, but there are people, places, and groups to help you get through it all. 

Try to let go of your guilt, mama. It is important to remember that having another child is a strong desire that should never be dismissed or downplayed. There is no reason to minimize the importance of having a child even if you have a child (or children) and want more. 

Learn more about secondary infertility here so you can get the support and answers you deserve. Our goal is to empower you on the journey to starting and growing a family.

What Does Secondary Infertility Mean?

An individual who has experienced natural conception and given birth in the past, but has been unable to conceive again or unable to carry a baby for a second time to full term is said to have secondary infertility. It has been found that both partners can contribute to secondary infertility.

It’s common to hear about secondary infertility less often than primary infertility, which affects around 1 in 10 women. 

Is there a reason why I’m having trouble getting pregnant again?

Now…Your biggest question that is running in your mind is probably “why?”. 

Many of the causes of secondary infertility are similar to those of primary infertility. A few fertility challenges appear early, but some complications only appear after a successful pregnancy or multiple pregnancies. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for secondary infertility so we can better understand what might be going on.


Fertility declines with age, and we know that this is true. The quality of eggs declines with age. This is why women who are in their mid-30s and older and who are 50+, have a higher chance of experiencing issues with their fertility.

Lifestyle Changes

Your lifestyle may have changed since your last pregnancy, such as your smoking habits, consumption of alcohol, or drugs, eating unhealthy foods, and taking medications. These types of lifestyle changes can cause secondary infertility.

A History of Previous Pregnancy Complications

There is a possibility that you may have scars, lumps, swelling, or tubes that have become blocked as a result of a previous pregnancy or surgical operation.

The Occurrence of Recurrent Miscarriages

A woman who experiences three or more consecutive, spontaneous miscarriages is said to be suffering from recurrent miscarriages. It is also known as frequent pregnancy loss.

Male Infertility

Some men experience infertility problems, including impaired sperm production and problems with the shape, number, and motility of their sperm.

Underlying fertility issue becomes worse

There is a possibility that you have been living with endometriosis or PCOS for a long time but didn’t realize it. There may be other problems that you may experience, such as abnormal cervical mucus or problems with ovulation.

Unexplained Issues

I know that this is not the right option. The cause of secondary infertility is sometimes unexplainable, despite our attempts to understand it. But unexplained DOES NOT mean unsolvable! Nevertheless, some solutions may work for you.

What Is the Right Time to Consult the Doctor About My Fertility?

If you have been having difficulty conceiving for at least one year, (or six months if you are over 35 years of age) and have not found any success in conceiving, you must consider a reproductive endocrinologist or infertility specialist for some assistance.

From my point of view, women who are struggling with secondary infertility are more likely to put off seeking support as a result of feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with it. Having successfully had a child may have made your friends and family downplay your struggles, or perhaps you feel guilty about wanting to have more children.

Or, hey, you’re a mom – and you might find it difficult to find the time and energy to go to consult a fertility specialist when you’ve already got to take care of a young child. There’s no shame in going through this situation. If you want to have a family, you need support when dealing with secondary infertility.

Secondary Infertility: How Is It Treated?

The short answer? Secondary infertility is usually treated the same way as primary infertility. 

Let’s dig into the details… The first step in treating your problem is to get both of you evaluated by your provider. Will enable them to find out what is causing the problem and then begin treatment. These can include, for her, a hysterosalpingogram (also known as an HSG) can be done, as well as a saline sonogram. While for him a semen analysis is performed.

Are you curious about the results of a semen analysis? Check it out here. Once your secondary infertility has been diagnosed, a tailored treatment plan will be designed by your Reproductive Endocrinologist to solve your secondary infertility.

Generally, four treatment options are available. Let’s talk about them!

Treatment Options

  • Ovulation assistance: In this scenario, drugs are taken to cause ovulation or “superovulation,” timing the onset of ovulation with the introduction of sperm.
  • IUI: IUI treatment involves injecting sperm directly into a woman’s uterus while timing her ovulation.
  • IVF: IVF, in this technique, eggs are extracted, sperm is collected, and then the egg and sperm are combined by hand in a laboratory dish. In the following step, the embryo(s) is transferred into the uterus. 
  • Donor egg or donor sperm: The process involves using sperm or eggs from a known or anonymous donor.

A Word From Hegde Fertility: You’re Not Alone

It is not wise to take secondary infertility lightly. It can be emotionally draining and overwhelming. Friends and family may not be supportive of your efforts, asking why you are “trying so hard” when “You already have a kid!”

It’s true that anyone struggling with infertility needs support and treatment. If you are facing infertility, you should not feel ashamed because “you already have kids.” Do not feel as though you have to cope alone. Take responsibility for your health, seek out support, and discuss it with your doctor.

However, at Hegde Fertility, we encourage you to set your own family-building goals. 

It is difficult to deal with secondary infertility on a personal level, which is why we’re here to help.

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