Have you been trying to conceive a second (or third, or fourth) child for a while without success? Chances are you have secondary infertility. Continue reading to find out more.
What is secondary infertility? This is what they call it when you have had a child or children already, but have trouble trying to get pregnant or carry a baby to term the second time around.
The causes of secondary infertility are similar to the causes of primary infertility. According to the Mayo clinic, these causes include:
- Impaired sperm production, function or delivery in men
- Fallopian tube damage, ovulation disorders, endometriosis and uterine conditions in women
- Complications related to prior pregnancy or surgery
- Risk factor changes for you or your partner, such as age, weight and use of certain medications
What can you Do?
There are several options to treat infertility. They are the same options we would use to treat primary infertility. Let’s go over them.
Take an inventory of your daily life. What stressors are impacting you? Try to evaluate the “bad” forms of stress in your life and figure out if you can get rid of them.
Perhaps you can delegate more at work. Ask your partner to help out more around the house. Plan a spa day with friends. Do something to alleviate your stress.
Some medications can cause infertility. Talk to your doctor about the side effects of any medications you are taking. Find out if there are fertility-safe alternatives you can take.
Health and Diet
How is your overall health? Do you exercise? Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Take a close look at your diet and make sure you are eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.
You should include a prenatal vitamin with folic acid while you are trying to get pregnant.
If you are under 35 and have been trying to conceive for one year or more, or 35 & over and trying to conceive for 6 months, you should see a fertility specialist. They can run tests and try to figure out why you are unable to get pregnant.
If the fertility specialist discovers that you are, indeed, having secondary infertility, they might suggest IVF. To read more about the process of IVF, check out my blog here.
Basically, you’ll take some hormones and other medications to grow your eggs, have them harvested, fertilized, and re-implanted.
There are different processes within IVF, and there is “mini-IVF” where you take no or little hormones.
If the doctor finds that you won’t be able to carry a baby to term, you have the option of surrogacy. This is where your egg and your partner’s sperm are combined outside the womb, then the embryo is implanted in the uterus of a surrogate.
A surrogate is another woman who agrees (usually by legal contract) to carry your baby for you.
If you want to grow your family and you can’t conceive, adoption is always an option. There are tons of kids out there that need a loving forever home.
I don’t know how other states do it, but here in Los Angeles, California, there is a process you go through with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
If you plan on adopting at any time, there is a combined process you go through to become a foster family that also makes you eligible to adopt.
First you become foster parents, then you have the option to adopt once a child becomes “adoptable.” It is a long, intrusive process that delves into your home life and relationships, but it’s well worth it.
Traditional Chinese herbs such as epimedium, astragalus, and peony assist the body in repairing damage and re-synchronizing and re-harmonizing itself. These herbs, and a balance of others that help with fertility, are found in Bioterra Herbs’ Female Fertility supplement.