Secondary Infertility

When a child grows up, couples often crave having a newborn in their lives. The scent of new babies clothes, the coos and cute tiny feet, sometimes become incredibly irresistible. For some, it is at this point that the journey to try for a new baby starts. Read more on having your next baby. Now, when conceiving at this time becomes a challenge, this may be because of secondary infertility. Read more on infertility.

What is Secondary Infertility?

This is described as the inability to conceive after a successful previous pregnancy and delivery. Factors that may cause secondary infertility include;

  • Male infertility- Almost one third of all secondary infertility cases are because of changes in men’s fertility.
  • Complications or surgery experienced during a previous pregnancy
  • Fallopian tube damage
  • Ovulation disorders
  • Endometriosis
  • Use of certain medication
  • Age- if you had your first child at thirty-five years old and trying for a second at thirty-eight, your fertility has significantly declined.
  • Fibroids
  • A new partner- a new partner could have fertility issues that have gone undiagnosed.
  • Lifestyle choices- Smoking, excessive use of alcohol and a bad diet could all cause secondary infertility.
  • Unexplained reasons

When to Visit Your Doctor

Certain symptoms shouldn’t be ignored when trying to conceive the second time around. These symptoms could be signs of secondary infertility and should always be examined by your doctor. They include:

  • If you are thirty-five and above and trying to conceive again.
  • A menstrual cycle that is too long, up to thirty-five days
  • A cycle that is too short. Below twenty-one days.
  • Absent menstrual period.

Treatment of Secondary Infertility

Once infertility is diagnosed. The following interventions can be made by your doctor:

  • Fertility drugs such as clomid can be prescribed.
  • Gonadotropins which are injectable fertility drugs can also be given
  • IVF
  • Surgery to repair blocked fallopian tubes. Removal of fibroids or clearance of endometriosis deposits can be done,

Prevention of Secondary Infertility

The following steps can be followed to prevent or reduce the instances of secondary infertility.

  • Managing stress levels by engaging in activities that help you relax.
  • Reducing your alcohol intake and stopping smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight based on your BMI, overweight and underweight women are at an increased risk of ovulation disorders.
  • Limiting caffeine levels can reduce the chance of secondary infertility
  • If you are over 35 years and trying to conceive again, regular visits to your doctor are recommended so that any concerns can be dealt with immediately. Read about pregnancy after 40.

Paying close attention to your body when trying to conceive is key. When in doubt always consult your doctor.


Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed March 2019

Sources: mayoclinic, verywellfamily, early-pregnancy-tests, mayoclinic

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