Secondary Infertility

Secondary Infertility is the inability to have a child after at least one successful pregnancy. It is anything but rare. In fact, 10% of women will experience secondary infertility, and it accounts for half of the infertility cases today.

Secondary infertility can be a surprise for many couples. Often with any previous pregnancy, there was no problem with conception or carrying the baby to term. The second time, however, is a very different experience. It can leave a couple wondering what went wrong.

It is difficult to define what causes secondary infertility because there is not just one cause. Experts hypothesize that whatever is causing the infertility issue developed after the successful pregnancy. From sporadic ovulation to fallopian tube damage, endometriosis, or changes in the quality of the man’s sperm, there are a lot of ways that secondary infertility has become the new normal for these couples.

Secondary infertility is a lonely condition for many couples because unlike infertility,  friends and family don’t always understand the amount of loss and grief the couple feels, considering that they have a child or children already. But just like couples that are experiencing infertility the first time around, the couple needs the support of their friends and family to help them accept their situation and hopefully overcome it with the help of a fertility specialist.

Couples experiencing secondary infertility don’t always get help from a fertility specialist immediately. Some need time to accept that things have changed. Some decide not to pursue treatment due to the expense or other reasons. Others don’t know when they should start looking for help.

Couples that are having a hard time conceiving should seek the help of a specialist when:

  • They are over 40 and want to conceive a biological child using their own eggs
  • They are between 35 and 40 and have been trying for at least six months with no success
  • They are under the age of 35 and have been trying for a year without conceiving

Secondary infertility is a common condition. For many couples, the cause of the infertility developed after the last successful pregnancy. For help overcoming the new challenges they are experiencing when they are trying to conceive, they should seek the counsel of a fertility specialist.

PCOS and Pregnancy

Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is the most common condition that affects a woman’s fertility in her childbearing years. Experts have estimated that 10% of women aged 12 to 45 have PCOS.

PCOS affects women in many ways. The endocrine disorder can cause skipped menstrual cycles, prevent ovulation, and cause insulin resistance problems. In addition to affecting their ability to get pregnant, women with PCOS are also at higher risk to develop complications during their pregnancies if they do achieve pregnancy. Some complications that women with PCOS should look out for are:

• Pregnancy-induced high blood pressure

• High blood sugar levels, which can be a precursor of type 2 diabetes and can lead to obesity

• Pre-exclampsia, a condition that is typified by high blood pressure and protein traces in the urine

• Premature delivery of the baby

• Miscarriage of the fetus

• Macrosomia, a condition where a newborn has an excessively high birth weight

Many of these conditions during pregnancy can be severe. If you think you may have PCOS it is important to discuss treatment options with your doctor to help you have the best chance possible of preventing these complications.

Common Treatment Options for PCOS

In order to treat the symptoms of PCOS, doctors must address the issue of insulin resistance. The drug commonly known as Glucophage, or Metformin, can be used to offset the effects of insulin resistance by transferring glucose into the cell as well as making sure that the body will not produce more insulin unnecessarily.

In addition to pharmaceutical therapy, weight loss is another effective treatment for women with PCOS. They are advised to add an exercise regimen to their routine. In addition, they also are counseled to make better choices for their diet.

PCOS is a common condition with lots of difficult symptoms for women of the childbearing years to endure. Understanding why the symptoms are happening is the first step. The second step is to treat the condition. It is critical to the health of both the mother and child to treat the condition sooner rather than later.