Many couples get pregnant with their first child easily. As time passes, however, they find it more difficult to get pregnant again and continue to grow their family. This is known as secondary infertility, which is, unfortunately, relatively common. That does not make dealing with your grief and frustration any easier.
Dr. Janelle Dorsett is an expert in fertility medicine. She provides patients with a variety of secondary infertility treatment options at our Lubbock, TX fertility center. If you have struggled to have more children, she can help you determine the cause and provide you with an appropriate treatment.
The Struggle to Continue Growing Your Family
The phenomenon of being unable to conceive again or have a full-term pregnancy after successfully having one or more children is known as secondary infertility. While some couples may not be able to conceive at all, others conceive but then suffer recurrent miscarriages. It is a devastating experience, and couples going through secondary infertility may wish to seek effective treatment options.
Risk Factors for Secondary Infertility
There are certain factors that can play a role in the development of secondary infertility. The age of the female partner is one of the most common risk factors. A woman may have easily gotten pregnant in her mid to late 20s. Once she reaches her mid-30s, however, she may struggle to get pregnant. This is because women have a finite number of eggs. Both the quality and quantity of the eggs diminish over time. This can make it much more difficult to conceive and can also increase a woman’s risk of miscarriage.
Other risk factors may include:
- Reduction in sperm quantity or quality in the male partner due to health complications, medications, or other factors
- Excessive weight gain
- Tobacco use
Secondary Infertility Treatment
Fortunately, there are treatment options available for secondary infertility so you can continue to grow your family. Fertility medications are a common treatment for secondary infertility if the female partner’s eggs are the cause. These medications are used to increase the number of quality eggs for fertilization. Dr. Dorsett may recommend the use of these medications alone, or in combination with intrauterine insemination (IUI), or in vitro fertilization (IVF).
In vitro fertilization is most beneficial if endometriosis or another condition causes a problem with the fallopian tubes. It is also ideal if sperm count or quality is low. With the right treatment, you can successfully achieve the additional pregnancies you desire.
When to Seek Treatment
Dr. Dorsett recommends couples seek evaluation and treatment for secondary infertility if the female partner is less than 35 years of age and the couple has been trying for a year or more to conceive naturally. Couples with a female partner over age 35 who have tried for at least six months to conceive naturally should also seek treatment. Regardless of age, if you have suffered two or more miscarriages within six months to a year, you should also seek evaluation and treatment.
Discuss Your Treatment Options Today
To find out the cause of your secondary infertility and get appropriate treatment, contact The Centre for Reproductive Medicine today to schedule a fertility evaluation.