Secondary infertility is the most common type of infertility in women, yet many sufferers don’t seek out treatment.
Fertility expert Dr. Larisa Corda, a regular on This Morning, explains more about the condition and what can be done about it.
Secondary infertility is defined as a problem with becoming pregnant after you have conceived at least once before. People often underestimate how common this actually is, especially after the age of 35 when natural fertility declines much more significantly. Aside from the effect of age and the impact this has on egg numbers and quality, secondary infertility may be due to the onset of new medical or gynaecological conditions, such as fibroids, or Asherman’s syndrome. It could be that you suffer from endometriosis or PCOS and that these conditions have got worse.
Your lifestyle habits may have also have changed, your partner’s sperm may not quite be what it used to be, or you may have a new partner. Secondary infertility often has a lot of guilt associated with it. Many couples feel hesitant about seeking help and tend to delay, due to the worry of feeling judged by others if they already have a child, including their doctor.
But if you suspect there’s a problem and you’ve been trying for a year if under 35, or 6 months if 35 or over, it’s vital you go and see your GP to start some initial investigations. These can include simple blood tests to look at hormone levels, as well as a semen analysis and pelvic ultrasound scan to look at the womb and ovaries. Sometimes further tests are undertaken that look at fallopian tubes as well.