Updated: August 19, 2019 1:40:40 pm
By Dr Shobha Gupta
Incidences of secondary infertility are growing rapidly in number. While infertility is discussed every day, secondary infertility is not much talked about, even when it is quite a common form of infertility.
Secondary infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant the second time, following the birth of one or more biological children.
Causes of secondary infertility in both partners could be:
1. Damage to fallopian tube due to ectopic pregnancies
2. Complications during prior pregnancies such as a C-section
3. Blockage which is caused by fibroids
4. Increased maternal age and less production of eggs
1. Increased age, weight gain, excessive smoking and drinking
2. Use of certain medications
3. Impaired sperm production and delivery
Approximately, 10.5 per cent women have reported experiencing secondary infertility. If you notice these causes of secondary infertility, you must immediately consult with a specialist.
Remember that you are not alone. More and more people are now facing the problem of secondary infertility in India and, therefore, it is better to be informed.
Though primary infertility normally receives attention, it is not the case with secondary infertility. Many women struggle to conceive their second baby after previously giving birth to their firstborn without difficulties.
I have seen lot of cases recently of secondary infertility. I would say inactivity in women along with wrong eating habits, increases chances of primary infertility as well as secondary infertility. With urban lifestyle and dependency on fast food adding to the problem.
If one had their first child at the age of 35, and they want to try out for a second child at 36 and above, it can be a bit challenging because this is a time where their fertility has naturally declined significantly.
Also, blaming only women is not appropriate.The age of the male partner, those with BMIs over 30, which is considered obese, have a lower sperm count and negatively impacted fertility overall.
According to a study titled Fertility: Assessment and Treatment for People with Fertility Problems, published in the March 2013 edition of NICE Clinical Guideline, London, about 15 percent couples with unexplained fertility conceive naturally within a year.
Couples should keep trying since 35 percent still have a chance to conceive naturally within two years. If a woman is under the age of 30 years, she has a higher chance of conceiving than a woman aged 30 years or more. Let’s not forget that age is an important factor and predictor of successful natural conception. The doctors would offer you treatments on the basis of the causes of secondary infertility. The treatments for secondary infertility ranges from infertility medications to intrauterine insemination (IUI) or artificial insemination (IVF).
The fact that you have already had a baby will certainly work in your favour.
(The author is medical director and IVF expert from Mother’s Lap IVF Centre, New Delhi)
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