USC Fertility

Secondary Infertility

Overcoming secondary infertility

For some couples, becoming pregnant the first time is easy, so they assume they’ll have no problem conceiving a second child when the time is right. But for many people, pregnancy doesn’t come as easily the second or third time around. The name for this is secondary infertility, and it’s a common reason why people seek help from a fertility expert in Los Angeles.

Secondary infertility is the inability to become pregnant, or stay pregnant, after you’ve had at least one successful pregnancy without any fertility treatment. If you’ve already had one child and have been trying to conceive for longer than a year – or six months if you’re older than 35 – it’s time to see a fertility specialist and find out why.

Causes of secondary infertility

Many people wait longer than they should to seek help from a fertility expert in Los Angeles, assuming that pregnancy will happen eventually if they just keep trying. However, some of the causes of secondary infertility can get worse with time, making it even harder to become pregnant as the years go by.

  • As women age, their supply of quality eggs naturally begins to decline, making it increasingly harder to become pregnant.
  • Your partner may not be producing enough high-quality sperm to achieve pregnancy naturally, and age can also play a role in a man’s fertility.
  • You may have an ovulation disorder or hormone imbalance that is interfering with your body’s ability to produce eggs.
  • You could have structural issues with your reproductive organs, such as blocked fallopian tubes or scarring from endometriosis or surgery, including prior C-sections.
  • Certain lifestyle factors, including your and your partner’s weight, smoking or alcohol consumption, may be making it harder for you to conceive.

Don’t wait to seek help if you have a history of miscarriages, irregular menstrual cycles or painful periods, as any of these could be symptoms of an issue that needs to be treated if you want to grow your family. A history of pelvic inflammatory disease is also a good reason to see a fertility specialist if you’re having trouble conceiving.

The best way to determine the cause of secondary infertility is to see a fertility specialist for testing. Both the female and the male partner should be tested to provide a complete picture. For women, fertility testing involves blood work, a physical exam and an ultrasound exam of the reproductive organs. For men, the baseline fertility test is the semen analysis.

Get tested, get answers

If you’ve already given birth to at least one child and are having trouble conceiving now, it’s understandable if you’re a little bit worried. Thankfully, many effective treatments are available to help men and women overcome infertility and have more children. Once the cause of your secondary infertility is revealed, your fertility specialist can create a personalized treatment plan to help you grow your family.

To learn more about the causes and treatments for secondary infertility, contact us to schedule a consultation with a fertility expert in Los Angeles.