We often hear about the problems of infertility, but there is very little said about secondary infertility. This is when you have one child, but have problems getting pregnant second time around. It is both puzzling and upsetting when you may not have had any problems getting pregnant with your first child. But why may you experience secondary infertility? Here are some possible explanations …
1. Undiagnosed Problem
One possible explanation for not getting pregnant a second time is that there may be an undiagnosed medical issue. You may have a condition that did not stop you getting pregnant before, but has since got worse. Get a check up from your physician to see if there are any medical issues that you were not previously aware of, or that you have developed since your first pregnancy. You may have a thyroid problem or polycystic ovarian syndrome, and STIs should be ruled out.
2. Previous Surgery
Have you had any surgery since your baby was born? If you've had abdominal surgery, it may have caused scar tissue that has created pelvic or uterine scarring. Or if your first child was born by Caesarian, that may have caused problems.
Age could also be a factor in secondary infertility. It's well known that fertility declines with age, especially after you turn 35. The time that has passed since conceiving your first child may mean that you're now markedly less fertile than before. And age can also affect your partner's fertility, so consider if that could be affecting your ability to get pregnant.
4. Your Partner
It could also be useful for your partner to have a check up. He may have a low sperm count, or not be producing good-quality sperm. Perhaps he has had health problems or isn't leading a healthy lifestyle. And if you had your child with a different partner, you probably won't be aware of any problems with your current partner's fertility.
Another factor that's stopping you getting pregnant a second time could be your weight. It's not just being overweight that can cause a problem; being underweight may mean that you're not ovulating regularly. And if you're overweight, you're more likely to have a miscarriage or pre-eclampsia.
6. Not Enough Sex
It might also be as simple as not having enough sex. When you already have a child, you may be too tired for sex. And given that there's only a 20-25% chance of conceiving in any one cycle - assuming there are no factors reducing your fertility - it may not be that surprising that you're not conceiving, especially if you're not having sex at the right point in your cycle.
To give yourself the best chance of getting pregnant, it's vital to lead a healthy lifestyle. Smoking can not only reduce your chances of getting pregnant, but affect your ability to maintain the pregnancy. Your partner should also stop smoking, as it may contribute to fertility problems. Also limit or cut out alcohol, and eat a healthy diet.
Couples who are having problems conceiving their second child often get no sympathy, because they're expected to be 'grateful' that they have one child. It's something that is rarely explored, yet can be equally distressing as having no child. So seek help if you're having problems conceiving your second child. How many children would you like to have?