What’s the difference?
Age-related infertility is precisely what the term sounds like: the pregnancy trouble is due to an increase in age. With secondary infertility, however, there is usually an underlying condition to blame. Sometimes one or both partners have a condition that can impact fertility, such as endometriosis, diabetes, or uterine fibroids. In these cases, the first pregnancy success may have been due to luck.
Understanding treatment options
Whether a couple has struggled with age-related infertility or an underlying condition, some of the treatment options overlap. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may be good options. Additionally, couples may opt for donor eggs, sperm, or a gestational carrier to assist in pregnancy success.
Factors in secondary infertility
If there is an underlying cause to blame for the fertility challenges, often, treating that underlying reason can correct the problem. For example, a woman may be experiencing hormonal or menstrual irregularities due to being underweight. Sometimes, cutting back on high-intensity exercise may be the lifestyle adjustment a woman needs to get pregnant. Likewise, male fertility can be adversely affected when a man is overweight.
What can I do for age-related challenges?
In the 30s, a healthy woman has a 20% chance of getting pregnant. By the 40s, that rate drops to only 5%. While many women find success with IVF treatment, couples may consider using donor eggs if the female partner is past childbearing age.
Consider fertility preservation
Couples who have a desire to start a family later in life may opt for egg or embryo freezing. Sometimes individuals or couples would prefer to get pregnant later due to financial or professional reasons. Or medical barriers such as chemotherapy could play a role. In these cases, couples can choose to freeze embryos for future use.
Dealing with infertility emotions
In cases of both age-related and secondary infertility, couples can struggle with stress and negative emotions. This stress can have an impact on pregnancy success. Seek help in the form of counseling and learn to manage stress by meditating, journaling, or talking to a trusted loved one. For more information about fertility treatment options, schedule an appointment with a fertility specialist.