Secondary infertility problems involve, in essence, the difficulty of conceiving a child after a previous pregnancy and birth. Most people think that once a woman has succeeded in bringing a baby to the world, she will definitely be able to repeat the experience in the future. In fact, almost 60% of couples affected by the impossibility of reproduction are those who wish to become parents a second time.
Unlike partners who have never had a term pregnancy task, those who face secondary infertility problems are less likely to resort to specialized treatment. This mistake originates from the mistaken belief that if you were once fertile, you will always remain. Moreover, doctors encourage waiting in cases with previous pregnancies, contributing to the deep frustrations arising from repeated failures of conception.
Causes of secondary infertility
The causes of secondary infertility are similar to those of primary reproductive problems. These can be lesions at the base of the pelvis, blockage of the uterus, endometriosis, defective ovulation, poor sperm quality, etc. Any condition that functioned as an obstacle to conception at first pregnancy can be aggravated later, and the complications suffered at birth can also start undiagnosed diseases.
Age tells its word in the case of secondary infertility. Aging the eggs or worsening the physical condition of the two partners is a threat to reproductive health. Other typical causes are:
- anomalies of sperm developed over time;
- uterine fibroid;
- ovarian cysts.
Common causes in men
low amount of sperm in a man's ejaculation or other fertility problems;
problems with erection or ejaculation;
problems with sperm quality;
lifestyle (diet, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol, smoking, etc.).
Common causes in women
ovulatory problems caused by polycystic ovaries;
disorders or deterioration of the fallopian tubes;
annexitis or inflammatory pelvic disease;
fertilization or implantation problems caused by fibroids;
uterine adhesions, possibly caused by a previous caesarean section;
endometriosis or other medical condition affecting the uterus, etc .;
premature menopause etc.
In general, following medical investigations and tests, the cause is detected. Only in 19% of cases do doctors fail to identify the problem underlying infertility. Even couples with "unexplained infertility" are likely to conceive a child, if they insist and follow specific treatments.
There are also a number of chronic diseases and types of drug treatments that can cause secondary infertility:
- high blood pressure;
- cancer treatments (chemotherapy or radiotherapy);
Diagnosis of secondary infertility
If you are under 35 years old, you have been having regular and unprotected love for about a year and you have not been pregnant, it is advisable to ask a specialist doctor. If you have already exceeded this age threshold, it shortens the waiting period up to 6 months or even earlier.
If you have two or more pregnancy losses, your menstrual cycle is irregular and painful or you notice changes in vaginal discharge, consult your specialist as soon as possible. Also, if your partner has low libido, painful ejaculation or erectile disorder, an emergency medical evaluation is unambiguously required.
The tests for secondary infertility do not differ at all from the classic evaluation methods for the impossibility of natural conception. The treatment is applied differentially, depending on the specific cause.
How can the doctor help you?
Your gynecologist will recommend a series of tests and tests, ask you about your medical history and possibly send you to a fertility specialist.
It is important that you both go to the doctor to be investigated. There are fertility tests that are done as a couple or separately and that is why both partners are required to consult.
Depending on the test results, the doctor may prescribe specific treatments to increase the couple's chances of giving birth. Also, in such cases, assisted human reproduction techniques are recommended.
Psychological challenges of secondary infertility
Because secondary infertility is rarely identified as a problem, many couples face a lack of support and understanding from family and friends. The psychological challenges are even greater, as those around them tend to blame their suffering if there is already a child in the family.
As for the couple relationship, secondary infertility can be a threat to its balance. The ways in which people manage to cope with difficult situations can be extremely different, but all lead to poor communication, which favors the distance between partners.
The already born child may also suffer from the stresses created by secondary infertility. This is why, besides medical treatment, any emotional support is crucial to overcome this delicate moment.
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