The term secondary infertility refers to the inability of couples to conceive after having had at least one pregnancy. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), Secondary Infertility occurs when conception does not occur over a period of 12 months following a previous live birth or successful artificial reproduction procedure. This may involve both male and female factors that prevent fertilization from occurring. Also known as primary infertility, this is considered the most common type of infertility.
In comparison, Primary Infertility refers to the inability to become pregnant without medical intervention. Most people experience some form of infertility in their lives, but only about 1% have Primary Infertility. There are many causes of secondary infertility, including hormonal imbalances, poor sperm quality, abnormal fallopian tube function, ovulation problems, uterine abnormalities, and cervical problems.
While many women struggle with infertility issues, men can also suffer from the condition. A man may be unable to get his partner pregnant due to low testosterone levels resulting from aging or other health conditions. If he has a problem getting an erection, he may face difficulties during intercourse. Additionally, if a couple has previously undergone assisted reproductive technology procedures, they may need to undergo further treatment before trying to have children again.
Infertility is difficult for any individual, particularly those who feel as though they cannot conceive naturally. However, there are treatments available that may help overcome infertility issues. Some of these include fertility drugs, intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization, and even surgical interventions. These treatments differ depending on the cause of infertility and the situation surrounding the patient’s family life.
Secondary Infertility (SI) can occur after menopause in women, but it is not limited to this group of patients. In fact, SI may affect any woman experiencing natural or surgical cessation from menses. SI is defined as the inability to become pregnant following exposure to sperm and/or ovum. There are many causes for secondary infertility, including hormonal imbalances, cervical insufficiency, tubal disease, poor egg quality and quantity, endometriosis, age-related decline in fertility, previous pregnancy loss, and ovarian dysfunction. While specific treatment options differ depending on cause, there are some basic steps that can help improve your chances of conceiving naturally.
Step 1 – Ovulation Induction
If you have been trying to conceive for a long time without success, the first step would be to induce ovulation using medications or other treatments. This will allow your body to produce multiple eggs during each menstrual cycle; however, if you are taking hormone replacement therapy, you should discuss potential side effects and risks with your doctor before starting ovulation induction. If you have already undergone ovarian surgery or had a hysterectomy and want to attempt to conceive naturally, it is recommended that you wait at least six months before attempting to start trying.
Step 2 – Fertility Screening
After inducing ovulation, you will need to undergo a screening test to determine whether you have normal functioning ovaries. In addition to determining your levels of estrogen, progesterone, and follicle stimulating hormone, blood tests will check for the presence of antinuclear antibodies, anti-sperm antibodies, and lupus anticoagulants. These tests will provide valuable information about your health and reproductive system, including its ability to respond to fertilization.