Pregnancy Difficulties Second Time Around?
You had no problems conceiving your 3 year old and all went to plan without a hitch, so it should be easy to fall pregnant again naturally, right?
Many couples trying to get pregnant do not have identifiable problems to explain their sub fertility and I see more and more couples come into my clinics having difficulties getting pregnant second time around and it's not without its stress and causing barriers.
Annette a business woman in her late thirties, walked into my clinic reception with an air of confidence and carried a bright smile, she worked in the city for an international banking company, married for five years and mother to a beautiful three-year-old little girl.
As she told me her story, her composure began to fray at the edges and tears began well up in her eyes as she tried to hold back the floodgates.
“I just don’t understand it,” she said. “I got pregnant first time around which wasn’t on purpose, it just happened that way, and all my friends around me are getting pregnant, and Simon and I keep trying, but every month goes by and I’m not pregnant. I’m just not understanding what’s wrong, I mean it’s not like I’m infertile.”
Annette’s words are a reflection of many women who find themselves echoing similar stories to practitioners and clinicians. Patients who are having difficulty conceiving their second child have a very difficult burden to bear. They often do not think of themselves as an infertile couple since they already have conceived in the past. As I explained to Annette, having a child once is not a magic potion that guarantees eternal fertility.
A diagnosis of secondary fertility may be given if;
A couple who have already given birth without the use of medical support or
fertility medications find themselves unable to get pregnant within 12 months or experience recurrent miscarriages (three consecutive miscarriages)
Couples in these situations usually ask themselves the same questions as Annette did when she came to see me.
“It was easy the first time. So why is it so difficult now?”
Causes of Secondary Infertility
Causes of secondary infertility vary, but there are a number of factors.
Advanced reproductive age: The woman’s age is one of the most common reasons for secondary infertility. Although a woman like Annette may have had no problem getting pregnant a few years ago, those interim years can change things. It is critical to understand that a woman is born with all of the eggs she will ever have. As a woman ages, her ovarian reserve will diminish. This means that her egg quantity and egg quality will decrease, while the chance of miscarriage increases. This is true whether or not she conceived easily in the pas