Deciding to grow your family is often an exciting time – between the prospect of giving your child a sibling and achieving your ideal family size, trying for baby number two (or 3) can bring you and your family so much joy. But what if the second time around, it just isn’t happening? What could have changed in such a relatively short period of time? While it may seem that if having another child would be easy since it was the first time around, often it is not the case. For up to 30% of couples struggling with infertility, the woman has already had at least one child.
Having trouble conceiving after already having had a child is called secondary infertility, and it’s a condition that impacts more than three million women in the U.S. Here, the fertility experts of SIRM Dallas’ fertility clinic in Texas discuss what it is, what causes it, and what your options are for expanding your family.
An Unexpected Fertility Struggle
When most people think of infertility, they think of the couple struggling to have their first child. However, many couples who struggle with infertility may already have one or more children. For couples struggling with secondary infertility, being unable to grow your family when you already have a child can be just as devastating as primary infertility. Couples who struggle to conceive a second or third child often find that friends, family, and even healthcare providers treat them differently than they would treat a couple with primary infertility.
Many couples struggling with secondary infertility also express guilt about being unable to provide a little brother or sister to a child who desperately wants one. All of this stress and pain can leave you feeling completely drained. If you’re struggling with secondary infertility, it may help to set up time to speak with a therapist or spend time with a support group for those struggling with secondary infertility to work through the complicated emotions you may be feeling at this time.
What Causes It?
Secondary infertility is caused by many of the same issues that cause primary infertility. These include blocked fallopian tubes, issues with ovulation or ovarian reserve, sperm abnormalities, or scarring in the reproductive system.
Even though these issues weren’t present before, they can develop over time as both partners age. As a woman ages, the number and quality of her eggs decreases, which can make conceiving baby number two more difficult. Additionally, complications of endometriosis, like scarring on the fallopian tubes, can get worse over time if they are not properly diagnosed or treated. Fibroids and uterine polyps can also develop at any time, making it difficult for an embryo to implant. Age is also a factor for men, with male fertility beginning to decline somewhat at age 40.
What Can You Do?
If you’ve been trying to have another child for over a year (or for more than six months if you’re 35 or older), it may be time to speak to a qualified fertility specialist. Scheduling a consultation with Dr. Walid Saleh at SIRM Dallas Fertility Center can give you the answers you’re looking for. Our team of fertility experts will run diagnostic tests that can help identify the cause of your infertility and come up with a customized treatment plan that can help you build the family of your dreams.
If you’re ready to start, contact us today at 972-566-6686 to schedule an appointment and start on your path to your next baby.