Treating Secondary Infertility, a Common Cause of Infertility
You’ve successfully gotten pregnant, and given birth to one, or maybe more precious babies. Now, you’d like to add to your family, and you’re having trouble trying to conceive. Dr. Mark Rispler and Dr. Joshua J. Berger understand that secondary infertility can feel especially frustrating for couples. If you got pregnant once, why can’t nature take its course the second time around?
Secondary Infertility Explained
First of all, secondary infertility is relatively common. The National Infertility Association attributes 30 percent of all cases of infertility to secondary infertility (defined as the inability to get pregnant after having successfully conceived before). The causes mimic those of primary infertility, so the Innovative Fertility Center online resources will address the common culprits:
- Ovulation disorders
- Sperm disorders
- Anatomical issues
- Lifestyle factors
A perfectly functioning reproductive system can develop problems, or the simple passing of time can lead to age-based infertility.
We treat secondary infertility as he would primary infertility, with basic therapies or advanced reproductive technologies most likely to remedy the situation.
Secondary Infertility Treatment Options for Women
Women with female infertility caused by ovulatory dysfunction (due to age-related infertility, premature menopause, PCOS, hormonal imbalances) usually respond well to fertility drugs that stimulate ovulation. Your doctor will order ovarian reserve tests, and then discuss with you the following treatment options:
- Lifestyle changes to stabilize weight and body mass index
- Super ovulation (clomiphene citrate) with intrauterine insemination
- Super ovulation (clomiphene citrate and gonadotropins) with in-vitro fertilization
- In advanced cases of depleted ovarian reserve, donor eggs are associated with very high IVF success rates
Women with female infertility caused by structural problems from infection, polyps, scarring from pelvic surgery or endometriosis, will likely need minimally invasive fertility surgery.
Secondary Infertility Treatment Options for Men
Men continue to produce sperm throughout their lifetimes, and usually don’t see a decline in fertility until well past 50. Certain risk factors can lead to a premature loss of fertility in men, however, and our team will help identify potential problems causing secondary infertility.
Questions that your doctor will ask in a secondary infertility consultation:
- Are you a smoker?
- Does your job expose you to elevated temperatures?
- Have you been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease?
- Are you a heavy drinker?
- Do you tend to use laptop computers?
Semen analysis will clarify whether male infertility is standing between you and another baby. Depending on the findings and information gleaned from a brief health history, your doctor may recommend scheduling a visit to a urologist for a physical examination.
Secondary infertility is surprising and frustrating, but it is not insurmountable. If you have tried to get pregnant for more than a year with no success, or six months if you are over 35, schedule an appointment with a fertility specialist right away. Proactive steps to overcome causes of secondary infertility will help move you toward your goal of adding to your family.