Mar 25

What Is Secondary Infertility and Can It Be Treated?

Secondary Infertility - San Antonio, TX

Posted on March 25, 2017 — by Joseph E. Martin, M.D., FACOG

A fertility doctor and a patientThe Fertility Center of San Antonio is committed to helping patients start families and build families. In order to do this, we make sure each patients undergoes a comprehensive exam and fertility evaluation. This process can help diagnose the cause of causes of infertility, which then determines the ideal fertility treatments to consider.

Some patients who come to our practice had no problem having their first child but run into obstacles having a second baby. With that in mind, let's explore the issue of secondary infertility.

About Secondary Infertility

Secondary infertility refers to cases in which a woman is able to have a first child through natural conception but then experiences problems when trying to have a subsequent child. This could mean that a woman has trouble becoming pregnant. It could also mean that a woman becomes pregnant but then experiences a miscarriage or other form of pregnancy loss.

Secondary infertility can confuse many people since there's an assumption that getting pregnant the second time should be just as easy. Situations are far more complicated than that, however.

How Common Is Secondary Infertility?

Secondary infertility is more common than you think. It's estimated that 3 million women in the United States will experience some form of secondary infertility. Combinations of female factors, male factors, and mixed factors will contribute to a difficulty having another child.

What Causes Secondary Infertility?

The causes of secondary infertility are similar to the causes of primary infertility. The cause may include the following:

  • Scarring of the pelvis
  • Issues with the uterus
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovulation problems
  • Advanced age
  • Low sperm count
  • Poor sperm quality
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • General health issues

During a consultation with a fertility specialist, the exact cause of combination of causes of the secondary infertility may be identified. From there, the proper treatment options can be discussed.

Treatment Options for Secondary Infertility

To treat female infertility, fertility specialists often turn to the same kinds of procedures to address primary infertility.

When female or male factor infertility is present, specialists can consider traditional fertility procedures for the patient. This might include:

  • In vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • Artificial insemination
  • Sperm donors
  • Egg donors

All of the above can prove essential in having another child when it proves difficult to conceive otherwise.

If there's a record of recurrent miscarriage or a high risk of pregnancy loss, fertility specialists may recommended a gestational carrier. This is a woman who can carry a child to term on the behalf of another party to ensure a healthy live birth. This option will involve the use of IVF in order to ensure optimal results.

Working with an Experienced Fertility Specialist

As you can imagine, issues with secondary infertility can be frustrating and at times heartbreaking. By working with a skilled fertility specialist, you can achieve peace of mind knowing that you will have expert care. We will be more than happy to discuss your treatment options with you in great detail so you can make confidence choices about fertility procedures.

Contact the Fertility Center of San Antonio

To learn more about secondary infertility and how it can be properly addressed, be sure to contact our team of experienced fertility specialists today. Our team will work closely with you to ensure you receive the right treatment for your needs.

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