Secondary Infertility

Last updated: November 9, 2023

What Does Secondary Infertility Mean?

Secondary infertility is the inability to become pregnant after a prior pregnancy or pregnancies have already occurred. Secondary infertility treatment options depend on a variety of factors and are based on the individual medical evaluations of each person involved.

Secondary infertility can be a complicated and emotional experience for many people and may require therapeutic support and counseling.

FertilitySmarts Explains Secondary Infertility

Infertility can be categorized into two types: primary infertility and secondary infertility. Primary infertility occurs when an individual is unable to become pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term without ever having been pregnant before. Secondary infertility occurs when an individual who has already given birth one or more times can no longer become pregnant.

Secondary infertility exists when there is a failure to become pregnant after 8-12 months of unprotected, regular sexual intercourse for those under 35, or after 6 months for those over 35 years of age.

Primary infertility and secondary infertility share common causalities, including, but not limited to, ovulation problems, endometriosis, and sperm count or ejaculation issues. Treatment of secondary infertility would begin with medical evaluations for all parties involved. Lifestyle changes, medical interventions, and other forms of treatment advised are all dependent upon the specific medical complication prohibiting the pregnancy.

While infertility is an emotional experience for anyone, secondary infertility may create a particularly complicated situation. Because conception has occurred before, a secondary infertility diagnosis often comes as a surprise. Additionally, those facing secondary infertility may experience a variety of responses when sharing their situation and should be prepared to seek appropriate emotional support and counseling where necessary.

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