Couple looking into the distance

What is secondary infertility?

Secondary infertility is a topic that isn’t discussed as often as it should be, yet it’s incredibly common. In fact, it was estimated in a recent study that over 3 million couples in the United States alone are faced with secondary infertility.

Secondary infertility is a medical term used to describe the inability to fall pregnant or carry a baby to term after previously giving birth to a baby.
The main causes of secondary infertility vary from lifestyle factors, male fertility problems such as sperm production or delivery, endometriosis or various complications related to the previous pregnancy. The most common cause of infertility, however, is age. Usually by the time women are ready to start trying for their second or third child, a few years have passed and they’re slightly older than when they originally started trying to conceive.

In this time, research has shown that women delaying starting a family due to career development, financial stability and for many women, meeting the right partner may not happen until later in their lives.

For many women, it can be just as challenging as struggling to conceive for the first time but it’s a subject that isn’t as openly discussed and for some women, they may feel as though they’re being criticised for wanting another child when they should “just be happy with the one you have”. The pressure from family members may add stress to the situation too, with relatives asking when you’re planning on having another baby.

It’s common to feel as though the situation is slipping away from you and that you’ve lost an element of control in your life that you never thought you would lose. It is also common to feel guilty and at some times isolated, bringing about a whole new set of challenges, especially if you’re running around after a toddler while trying to schedule in blood tests, scans and oocyte retrievals.

Fertility First recognises the importance of providing compassion and support to patients suffering from secondary infertility and we do not have an age limit on fertility treatment for patients. Providing patients with quality services including access to affordable donor eggs to maximise their success is something we feel is incredibly important.