If you or your partner have had children before, you may still struggle to conceive. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 11% of couples experience “secondary infertility,” which is the inability to conceive or have a full-term pregnancy despite having had children previously without difficulty.

If you or your partner have had children before, you may still have difficulty becoming pregnant. Approximately 11% of couples struggle with secondary infertility.

Our Personalized Approach to Care for Secondary Infertility

At Vios Fertility Institute, our compassionate team of fertility experts understands the challenges of this isolating diagnosis and will work with you to help you find fertility health and treatment with the highest chance of success. Our philosophy is to approach each patient as an individual needing customized care in a welcoming and reassuring atmosphere.

Past pregnancies are only one of many indicators of your current reproductive health. If you have been actively trying to conceive without success for over a year (or 6 months if you are over 35), it’s time to see a fertility specialist.

If you have questions about why you can’t get pregnant, infertility causes, or would like to learn more about the many fertility treatment options available,contact us to schedule your consultation today.

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Causes

Secondary infertility can affect both men and women, so it’s important that both male and female partners receive a medical evaluation to identify potential factors contributing to infertility, which can include the following causes.

Age
Age is one of the most common causes of secondary infertility. If you have already had a child, both you and your partner are older than you were with your previous pregnancy (or pregnancies), and this can be a key factor impacting your fertility. As women age, eggs decline in both quality and quantity, lowering the chance of a successful pregnancy. Men can also experience a decline in fertility with age. Older men may also be at risk for genetic sperm defects, which can impact a couple’s ability to conceive

Hormonal Issues
Hormonal changes affecting the thyroid or pituitary gland, or a diagnosis ofpolycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can disrupt normal functioning of the ovaries and cause infertility.

Scar Tissue
Complications from previous deliveries, past surgeries, and other conditions, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), tubal disease, and endometriosis, can leave scar tissue behind in the uterus (preventing the embryo from implanting in the uterine wall) or fallopian tubes (impeding sperm from reaching the egg or blocking the embryo from traveling to the uterus).

Lifestyle Changes
Changes to your lifestyle may also be the cause of secondary infertility. For example, smoking and alcohol use can affect sperm and egg quality. Weight gain or loss can also impact hormones that help regulate reproductive functions, which can alter ovulation and consequently may cause infertility.

Treatment Options

Patients with secondary infertility have all the same treatment options available for patients with primary infertility. After your personal fertility consultation, your Vios fertility specialist will collaborate with you to determine the best treatment option for your individual situation based on your health history, symptoms, diagnosis and personal reproductive plan.

In some cases, your fertility specialist may recommend in vitro fertilization (IVF) and preimplantation genetic testing. Genetic testing is an additional step in the IVF process that allows the patient to increase the chance of implantation and reduce the chance of miscarriage by transferring an embryo that has been tested for chromosomal abnormalities or genetic disorders.

Emotional Support and Wellness

At Vios, we understand the frustration and powerlessness that can accompany this isolating diagnosis. Patients diagnosed with secondary infertility face unique stigma and are often reluctant to reach out to others, including support groups. It is possible to be simultaneously thankful for your existing child(ren) and still long for more. Because emotional support can be an important part of treatment for secondary infertility, we collaborate with a local network of specialists, including counselors and psychiatrists, to help ensure your wellness throughout your fertility journey. Our comprehensive approach to care supports patients beyond treatment to help you achieve your family building goals. 

Affording Treatment and Financial Guidance

For patients who require treatment for secondary infertility, understanding both the cost of care and your insurance benefits can be confusing. At Vios Fertility Institute, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to start a family. We offer a variety ofaffordable care programs to make testing, treatment, and family planning more affordable so you can worry less about cost and focus on your future family. Our financial and insurance counselors will help you assess your coverage and options to help you make informed decisions that best utilize any insurance benefits and exhaust other available support options. Visit our financial FAQs for more details.

HOPE AND HELP FOR SECONDARY INFERTILITY

If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for six months to a year without success or have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss, then it might be time to meet with a fertility specialist. Thankfully, in our wonderful world of science and technology, many couples who see a fertility doctor and work together on solving infertility, succeed!

If you have questions about why you can’t get pregnant or think something may be off,contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our experienced,caring physicians at Vios Fertility Institute are here to help.