The Basics About Secondary Infertility

It is fair to say that for many people, infertility is a taboo subject and it is something that is rarely spoken about, even within couples. Whilst many are aware of the basics of both male and female infertility, it is likely that people would agree that not enough is known about what causes infertility or the infertility treatments available. Unfortunately, infertility is more common than people assume and, for this reason, it is really important to raise awareness of this. 

There are actually two different types of infertility; primary infertility and secondary infertility, and many people don’t even know that secondary infertility exists until it is affecting them. So, to help anyone who is wanting to expand their knowledge in this regard and find out more about secondary infertility, our team here at London IVF & Genetics Centre have put together some easy to understand information about this. 

What is secondary infertility?

Simply put, secondary infertility is where someone has had one or more successful pregnancies in the past but is now having difficulty conceiving again. Unlike primary infertility, where people have never been able to get pregnant, some who experience secondary infertility will already have healthy children, which can make this type of fertility much more confusing. 

What causes secondary infertility?

There are many different things that can cause this type of infertility and, similarly to primary infertility, it can also be unexplained. When a couple is struggling to conceive, the issue may lie with either party and you may even find that you are both experiencing problems with your fertility. Here are some common causes of infertility to be aware of; 

  • Ovulation disorders (such as PCOS and POI)
  • Problems with the female reproductive system (such as endometriosis)
  • Issues with sperm (including low count, morphology and motility)
  • Infections (commonly sexually transmitted infections) 

Why do people get secondary infertility?

Many people struggle to get their head around secondary infertility simply because they have been able to conceive in the past and this leads them to question why they’re no longer able to fall pregnant. Whilst there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to this question, there are a few different reasons why people get secondary infertility, below are some of these; 

  • You’re older now – age is known for affecting fertility and it may be the case that your fertility has started to decline due to your age.
  • You have a new partner – the problems you’re experiencing when trying to conceive aren’t always with your fertility, it may be something undiagnosed with your partner.
  • Your previous pregnancy caused problems – it may be the case that your previous pregnancy/pregnancies have caused you to have fertility issues.
  • You have new health problems – if you have been diagnosed with new health problems since your last successful pregnancy, these may be affecting your fertility. 
  • Your fertility issues have worsened – seeing as you are able to fall pregnant with fertility issues, it may be that any underlying problems have simply worsened over time. 

It is worth noting that unfortunately sometimes there is no clear reason why you’re struggling to conceive after already having successful pregnancies previously. Unfortunately, there is still a lot that is unknown about infertility in general. 

How can you find out if you have secondary infertility?

Ultimately, if you’ve been trying to conceive for a while now and you’re worried about whether you may be experiencing secondary infertility, you can seek assistance from a medical professional. There are some fertility tests that can be undertaken to help to identify why you’re experiencing problems with conception now. 

Is it possible to get pregnant with secondary infertility?

The short answer to this question is; yes. Thankfully, there are many infertility treatments available that can assist you and increase your chances of having another baby. Once any fertility issues have been identified, the correct treatments can be recommended and these may help you to fall pregnant even though you had secondary infertility. 

Speaking to someone about secondary infertility

All in all, whilst you may not have previously been aware of secondary infertility, hopefully, you will now know a little more about this and how it can affect many families. Of course, now that you’re aware of what secondary infertility is, if you’re concerned about this yourself, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a medical expert who will be able to assist you further. Whether you turn to your GP or a fertility clinic, there will be someone available to help you. 

Here at London IVF & Genetics Centre, we have an incredibly experienced team of fertility specialists who are the perfect people to contact regarding experiencing secondary infertility. We will take the time to find out more about your individual situation before providing you with a range of different infertility treatments that may be able to help in your specific situation. You can rest assured that once you have got in touch with us here at London IVF & Genetics Centre, you are no longer alone and we will support you in any way that we can.