The Truth About Secondary Infertility
Secondary infertility is a condition that affects millions of Americans. Secondary infertility occurs when a couple that has already conceived a child struggles to conceive another one. The likeliness of secondary infertility increases as people age. For women, problems can occur after age 35. For men, issues with fertility become more common after age 45. Secondary infertility is a condition that can be hard for couples to understand, but there are ways to deal with the issue, including in vitro fertilization (IVF).
What causes secondary infertility?
Secondary infertility can be caused by many different things. Age can be a factor, because the quality of a person’s eggs and sperm deteriorates as the person ages. But, other medical conditions can pose problems for couples trying to conceive. Some of these include endometriosis, uterine fibroids, low sperm count, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The only way to know if these conditions are the reason for secondary infertility is through a medical examination. A patient should talk to a healthcare provider to get the right testing and screening done.
Will IVF help?
IVF, in vitro fertilization, is a good option for couples struggling with secondary infertility. During IVF, doctors collect egg and sperm samples from the couple or a donor. Then, the egg is fertilized with sperm in a laboratory. The embryo is then placed in the female carrier.
Will IVF work for me?
IVF is a promising option if both the male and female have healthy eggs and sperm, and the female can physically carry the child. IVF doesn’t prevent or reduce the risk of miscarriage or pregnancy complications. However, the procedure does help a couple conceive and can be done multiple times if more than one embryo is available.
Understanding the treatment
The IVF process takes a few months to complete due to the multi-step process. First, the doctor examines the female carrier’s body and injects hormones to encourage the body to release multiple eggs for egg retrieval. The doctor also monitors the female’s health and egg development. The eggs have to be retrieved within a specific time frame to avoid underdevelopment or over maturation. Once embryos develop in a few days, the doctor can implant multiple embryos in the uterus. By this point, nature takes over, and if successful, the pregnancy begins.
Should I talk to a doctor?
Any couple who is struggling with secondary infertility should speak with a healthcare provider. A fertility specialist will provide testing and treatment options, such as IVF.