Treatment For Secondary Infertility – What Most Women Don’t Know

treatment for secondary infertility Secondary infertility is the condition where a couple is no longer able to conceive after having previously given birth to at least one child.

About 84% of couples who regularly have intercourse conceive a child within one year of trying[1]; 8% of couples will conceive within 2 years By regular intercourse we mean intercourse every 2 or 3 days. For the remaining 8%, it can take longer.

So before you panic about being infertile, you should know conceiving a baby takes time – even for healthy happy couples.

Risk Factors for Secondary Infertility

If you have a pre-existing medical condition you suspect could affect your fertility (such as amenorrhoea (no periods) or oligomenorrhoea (infrequent periods) or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), you should see a doctor if you are still unable to conceive after a year of trying.

If you are older than 40 years, have yourself checked sooner, say after 6 months of trying, because your fertility decreases rapidly as you age.

Infertility is a widespread problem today. Around 1 in 7 couples have fertility problems[2]. The causes of secondary infertility are similar to those of primary infertility. It may be that you already had the underlying medical problems but they did not affect your previous pregnancies.

Major Causes

The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority have pinpointed the following as major causes of secondary infertility:
  1. Male-related (e.g. low sperm count, low sperm quality, blockages in the reproductive tract): About 32 %
  2. Ovulation problems: About 4.9 %
  3. Fallopian tube damage: About 16.7 %
  4. Other health conditions (e.g. endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome): About 3.3 %
  5. Fertility problems in both the man and woman: About 17 %
  6. Unexplained: About 19 %
The diagnosis of unexplained infertility can be very frustrating. But, don’t lose hope just yet. About 2/3 of couples diagnosed with unexplained infertility were able to conceive after 3 years of trying to get pregnant.

Treatment For Secondary Infertility

Female reproductive problems that contribute to secondary infertility include ovulation disorders, tubal damage, sexually transmitted disease (e.g. chlamydia), obstructions in the uterus caused by fibroids, damage to the reproductive tract from a previous ectopic pregnancy and uterine adhesions which may be remnants from a previous C-section.
Reduce Stress
Other causes of secondary infertility may be psychological distress or even emotional trauma. A woman's unhealthy erratic emotions may cause the inability of the fertilized egg to embed into the uterine lining.

When a woman is emotionally unstable, her mucus production may be affected. She may produce too little or too much cervical mucus - both of which create a hostile environment for the sperm. Have a good amount of rest and indulge in healthy activities such as exercise, yoga, and walking.

Age can be another major contributor to secondary fertility. After the age of 35, your fertility starts to decrease. Also, you may have early menopause. Certain diseases that usually appear in the later years of life (such as diabetes and high blood pressure) may also affect your fertility.
Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes
Male-related secondary infertility is due to the low quantity and quality of your partner's sperm. His sperm may swim too slowly or be unable to swim straight. This greatly affects the ability of his sperm to fertilize an egg. Blockages in his reproductive tract may also keep his sperm from coming out.

Ask him to stop smoking and limit his alcohol intake as these activities can lower his sperm quality.

Changing your diet and lifestyle can have a huge impact on treatment for secondary infertility.

Preparing Your Body for Pregnancy

The older you are the better you need to be prepared for pregnancy. This is not strictly to do with your chronological age but with the longer time you've been exposed to nutrient deficiencies, toxicities, and others.

Are you suffering from secondary infertility? What advice would you give to other women in your shoes seeking treatment for secondary infertility? Would love to hear from you.

References

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About the Author: Iva Keene MRMed. ND. - Natural Fertility Specialist

Iva Keene is co-founder, creator and award-winning author of the NFP Program and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Health Science in Naturopathy and a Master Degree in Reproductive Medicine. She has been a qualified and internationally accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 15 years. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva’s articles, videos, guides, and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols, and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments, and integrative reproductive health.