Secondary Infertility

Secondary Infertility: No Less Painful, Still Treatable

iStock_000017057586Large (1)The unique situation of secondary infertility causes intense frustration for couples that struggle to add to their family. Dr. James Douglas, a fertility doctor in Plano, explains that even if you conceived on a dime the first time, advancing maternal age or newly developed anatomical or hormonal issues can thwart subsequent attempts to get pregnant.

Fertility doctors define secondary infertility as the inability to get pregnant and carry to term after six months (over age 35) or one year (under age 35) of trying when you have already given birth to one or more biological children. Some experts stipulate that the first birth not result from infertility treatment.

Approximately 30 percent of all cases of infertility are attributed to secondary infertility.

At IVF Plano, we understand that expectations for successfully conceiving and adding a sibling to the family are high after having experienced the miracle of childbirth. It helps to know why secondary infertility occurs, and appropriate fertility treatment options that can help resolve it.

A Fertility Doctor Explains the Causes of Secondary Infertility

Advanced Maternal Age

If some time has passed since the birth of your first child, it will be statistically harder to conceive. For instance, 1 in 4 women between ages 35 and 39 will have trouble getting pregnant. More than a third of women over 40 will experience infertility issues because of a natural decline in egg quantity and egg quality.

If you are having difficulty getting pregnant, Dr. Douglas can talk with you about preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) to screen embryos for chromosomal abnormalities. In extreme cases of diminished ovarian reserve, IVF Plano has a well-established donor egg program.

Tubal or Uterine Cavity Problems

Complications with delivery, pelvic infections or surgeries have likely already led to conversations with your obgyn or a fertility specialist. However, other factors may have silently developed or worsened over the years, including sexually transmitted disease and endometriosis.

In-office hysterosalpingogram provides Dr. Douglas a view of the uterine cavity and patency (openness) of the fallopian tubes. Minimally invasive infertility surgery can diagnose and help treat endometriosis.

Male Factors

While men continue to produce sperm over their lifetimes, problems with sperm health can occur over time. Lifestyle factors–weight, smoking, drug and alcohol use–heat exposure and environmental toxins can lead to infertility. Use of supplements for low-T (testosterone deficiency) can also exacerbate secondary infertility.

 “A simple semen analysis can provide information that can be used to formulate a plan for treating male infertility.” Dr. James Douglas.

Female Factors

Problems with ovulation or hormonal imbalances can develop over time due to age, weight or other systemic problems.

The Infertility Treatment sections of the IVF Plano website outline comprehensive solutions to address female causes of infertility, from baseline ovulation induction, to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI).

If you instinctively feel something is wrong, that secondary infertility may be at the root of your inability to get pregnant, don’t wait to discuss your concerns with your obgyn or a fertility specialist. In some cases, waiting can only worsen the problem. Contact IVF Plano for an appointment to discuss treatment options for secondary infertility.