Secondary Infertility: A Reproductive Condition Affecting Millions Yet Rarely Talked about
“Why can’t I get pregnant again?” is a question many women who struggle to conceive ask themselves when they are unable to get pregnant after having their first child.
You might know someone or may be one of the 3.3 million women held back from growing your family because of secondary infertility. Many more are likely not even aware that secondary infertility is the reason why they’re having trouble getting pregnant. Yet, despite this condition affecting so many, secondary infertility remains an issue that is rarely talked about, even within fertility circles.
Furthermore, women who know they have secondary infertility may find it difficult to get the emotional support they need from family and friends – and many just don’t know where to turn for help.
It’s time to change that. It’s time to draw attention to this issue that impacts the lives of so many women. So, Chelsea Fertility NYC in midtown Manhattan is partnering with New York City mom bloggers to raise awareness of secondary infertility. Mom bloggers can help out in a big way by sharing this post with their social media followers and re-blogging it on their own blog. Help get the word out about secondary infertility.
What is Secondary Infertility?
“Secondary infertility” isn’t a specific disease or condition but a blanket term applied to a woman dealing with an inability to conceive, or carry a pregnancy to term, after the birth of one or more children. Many women are unaware they might be dealing with secondary infertility – they figure they got pregnant once, so they should be able to do it again.
What Causes Secondary Infertility?
A number of factors or conditions can cause infertility in women who have already had at least one baby. These factors include:
- Age – As a woman gets older, the quality of her eggs decrease.
- New or worsened medical conditions – Hormonal conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and certain cancers and treatments can also affect fertility.
- Damage from the previous pregnancy – C-sections and other pregnancy complications can cause secondary infertility.
- Lifestyle – Smoking and drinking can impact fertility. Weight gain can also be a factor.
- Male Factor – Sometimes the man’s contribution could be the issue.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Secondary Infertility?
There are a number of signs that might suggest secondary infertility, these include:
- Unsuccessful conception after trying six to twelve months
- Experiencing several miscarriages
- Previous issues conceiving before the first pregnancy
- Irregular menstrual cycles or changes in ovulation
- Female partner over 35
Frankly, if you’re asking “Why am I not getting pregnant again?”, it’s likely you’re dealing with secondary infertility, and it might be time to see a reproductive specialist.
How is Secondary Infertility Treated?
There are several steps you can take to boost your fertility naturally:
- Consume protein-rich foods and foods with plenty of iron, vitamin C and zinc.
- Being overweight or underweight can lower your chances of getting pregnant.
- Cut out cigarettes, caffeine and alcohol.
- Take time to relax – (probably the worst thing you can say to someone dealing with infertility. However, going to yoga, meditation or a spa can improve your chances.)
- Take advantage of your ovulation cycle for peak fertility.
Although these lifestyle changes can go a long way toward overcoming secondary infertility, you still may need to see a fertility doctor. The solution can sometimes be as simple as fertility medications, but many times assisted reproductive technology such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) will be needed.
Fertility treatment can often be expensive. IVF alone can cost up to $15,000 in NYC. However, at Chelsea Fertility NYC, as a part of our belief, we provide our patients with a wide range of affordable fertility treatment options, including Minimal Stimulation IVF packages that being under $6,000 . Our doctors are experts at fine tuning medications to minimize excess costs of the fertility drugs as well. You can find more information on the low prices of our various fertility treatments here.
Why is Secondary Infertility So Hard to Deal With?
Apart from being a financial burden, secondary infertility can cause sadness, stress, frustration and a feeling of loss for many couples. Women and couples who want to have another baby but suffer from secondary infertility regularly feel blindsided when they realize they can’t conceive again. This is especially true if conception was easy on the first go.
On top of the pressures women and couples already have, support from friends and family is often hard to come by. Because most people don’t think about secondary fertility issues, they don’t have an understanding of the frustration and pain they bring. It’s not uncommon to be told things like “Just try harder,” “Relax and it will happen” and the worst offender, “You’re lucky to have had one already.” These “supportive” comments can be so hurtful to couples suffering from secondary fertility.
It’s also difficult for women who have had a child already to find support from other women dealing with infertility issues in groups and online forums. Sometimes women on these websites show a level of disdain for women suffering from secondary infertility because they are jealous they haven’t had a baby of their own.
What can you do?
If you and your spouse (or someone you know) are struggling with secondary infertility, it is crucial to learn all that you can through research from reputable organizations or by visiting an infertility doctor. This will allow you to find the support you need and to make the best choices for you and your family.
It’s also important to help spread awareness of secondary infertility. By bringing attention to this serious issue, we can provide channels for help and support to those who need them. Raising awareness will also help educate friends and family on the right ways to offer support and comfort.
Every connection counts when it comes to increasing awareness and support for those suffering from secondary infertility. Here’s what you can do to help:
- Share this post on social media, or re-blog it on your own site.
- Write your own blog about raising awareness, and share it with the world.
- Talk to your friends and family.
- Write to your elected officials about supporting infertility causes.
- Donate to a charity that supports infertility research or helps women afford care.
Any way you can raise awareness will help increase public understanding about the pain and frustration secondary infertility brings. We urge anyone who cares about the infertility community to help with our efforts to shine a spotlight on secondary infertility.