What is Secondary Infertility?

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secondary infertilityIn a perfect world, you have a baby and then, when and if you decide to grow your family further, you have another baby. For some, the road to pregnancy and fertility happens just as they imagined. For others, there are bumps and detours along the way.

As many as 3 million women in the United States struggle with secondary infertility, yet many are unaware until it happens to them.

What is Secondary Infertility?

Secondary infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after a previous successful pregnancy. Essentially, it differs from primary infertility in its timing.

Causes of Secondary Infertility

Primary infertility and secondary share many of the same causes, with some differences. Here are the causes specific to secondary infertility:

  • Damage to the fallopian tubes
  • Endometriosis, uterine conditions, and ovulation disorders
  • Complications stemming from previous pregnancies
  • Changes in risk factors, such as weight, age and medications
  • Impaired production of sperm, motility, and function in males

Read our overview of infertility causes for a comprehensive explanation of infertility and how it affects you.

When to Seek Help

Generally speaking, the following guidelines can help determine if treatment is needed:

  • Under 35 and unable to conceive after at least a year of trying
  • Over 35 and unable to conceive after at least 6 months of trying

If you or your partner have a history of STD, irregular cycles, miscarriage(s), it’s best to seek help sooner rather than later. As men and women age, the clock is ticking. Unfortunately, many struggling from secondary infertility never seek treatment.

Infertility can affect anyone at anytime, but there are solutions to help you along the way. If you are concerned or believe that you are suffering from secondary infertility, there’s no wrong time to seek help from a fertility doctor.

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