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Secondary Infertility

Secondary Infertility is diagnosed when a woman is unable to conceive  after a year or so of unprotected sex, despite previously giving birth.

While Secondary Infertility is confusing, it is also a relatively common occurrence, and is thought to affect around 1 in 6 couples in Australia. Initial reactions in realising there could now be a fertility problem can range from disbelief or denial.

When you have fallen pregnant easily and enjoyed a healthy pregnancy previously and 9 months later delivered a baby, you naturally presume that since you have conceived before, it will only be a matter of time before you’re announcing to family and friends the good news of another baby.

Secondary infertility is rarely discussed, and each case is unique.  This mysterious situation can be made all the harder with friends and family having little understanding of the heartache and frustration involved when there is already a child in the family. Some couples are even faced with the attitude of “you’re lucky you have one already” or can even feel guilty because other people are struggling to have one child. 

What causes secondary infertility?

Like primary infertility, there can be many causes for secondary infertility. Some of the most common reasons include age and lifestyle factors. More women are having their first child later, and trying for their second or third pregnancy in their late 30’s and early 40’s. In women, age is a consideration as egg quality and quantity deteriorate with age and can decrease chances of conception.

Health issues and the environment can contribute to secondary infertility.  Irregular ovulation, or conditions such as endometriosis could interfere with conception. 

Lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption, stress, weight gain/loss by either partner can all play a part in fertility.  These are all areas which may have altered since the birth of the first child.  If there is a new relationship, this partner brings a different combination of genes, sperm quality and motility.

Is there a treatment for secondary infertility?

If you have been trying to conceive another child for six months or more, you should ask your GP for a referral sooner rather than later. Treatment will be determined by the cause of the infertility but the initial investigations would explore four main areas: Sexual Function; Ovulation; Sperm function and Tubal Function.

Many of your questions will be answered at your very first appointment with Dr Flynn.

If you would like to discuss secondary infertility with Dr Flynn, please call our office on (07) 55648011 or fill out our online form and we will contact you to confirm your appointment.

Ask your GP for a referral to Dr Michael Flynn - print this Referral Request and hand it to your GP.

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