Secondary infertility occurs when after having a first child the woman cannot have more. In reality, this problem is not something that has monopolized so much attention as primary fertility, which worries a greater percentage of the population. However, the number of women with infertility is frequent.
There are a lot of causes that could be producing secondary infertility, most of which coincide with the same causes that produce primary infertility. The most important are:
– Hormonal problems in women.
– Drinking alcohol or smoking excessively. In general, drug use.
– Having an obstruction in the fallopian tubes.
– Having a weight that is too high or too low.
– Have endiometrosis.
– Thyroid disorders.
– Hyperprolactinemia (excess of the hormone prolactin in the blood).
– Suffering or having suffered a sexually transmitted disease.
If you’ve ever had a problem like this, think about whether it could have gotten worse since you gave birth. Perhaps a birth complication could have caused anatomical damage to the uterus . It may also happen that quite a few years have passed since you had your first child , with age it is more difficult to have children. Often parents think that since they already had a child it is impossible that they could have a fertility problem and do not ask for an evaluation.
However, if you have been trying to have a child for at least half a year and have not succeeded, you should consult a fertility doctor. You should even go earlier if the woman is over 35 or had irregular menstrual cycles in the past. Bodies change over time , especially in women who are very vulnerable to hormonal changes.
In men, there may also be causes that are producing secondary infertility. For example, low sperm quality or concentration. Although it is true that they are not so vulnerable to the changes that occur with age.
THE EMOTIONS THAT ARE TRIGGERED ALSO REDUCE THE CHANCES
All the tangle of feelings that the couple who want more children have will also affect fertility because, as we have already explained in many articles, the stress and anxiety generated by the uncertainty of whether you will conceive again only makes the chances of it happening more difficult. . If the woman (or partner) feels anxious the hormones that prepare the body for stress will skyrocket and the body will go into a defensive state.
The most frequent emotional reactions that parents experience are:
– Feelings of guilt: they can often feel guilty for thinking that they would like to have more children and that only one is not enough, or also because you would like your current child to have a brother with whom to share experiences.
– Incomprehension and sadness: if your other child is older, surely both of you will experience grief because you know that you will not be able to live parenthood again. On the other hand, it is difficult to find external support in couples who are infertile because when they already have a child they will not fully understand your sadness. “How can you regret not having more children when others don’t even have one?” you might think.
– Anxiety: if you are trying very hard to have another child and you are not successful, anxiety can end up damaging the relationship.
TYPES OF TREATMENTS
The treatment for secondary infertility will depend on the causes that have caused it , each cause will have a treatment of choice, sometimes it can be useful to change certain lifestyle habits, in other cases not. However, most follow the same lines as for primary infertility and basically consist of:
– Advice on the problem and why it occurs.
– Changes in diet. Some women cannot conceive because they are overweight, underweight, or some type of illness that results from it. Modifying the diet can be beneficial to improve conditions.
– Undergo fertility treatments. The most common in Spain is in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination. If you want to know more, go to our other articles by clicking on the name.
– Surgery: sometimes women who have had changes in their reproductive organs (for example as a result of the previous delivery) may need to undergo an operation, specialists have to inform you of the type of operation, risks and success rate.
– Search for donors . This option is reserved for those cases in which the woman cannot use her own eggs.
HOW TO COPE WITH TREATMENT WHEN YOU ALREADY HAVE A CHILD
It is common to feel guilty if you already have a child but are looking for more, parents may think that they are capricious and sometimes they may even doubt whether to continue with the process. If you want to move on, you have to prevent your child from noticing you differently. From the moment you undergo treatment, your child will notice that you are not the same, especially if they are 6 or 7 years old or older.
– Less time at home. To begin with, he will notice your absences and may feel confused. It is preferable that you try to leave it with trusted people such as grandparents or uncles rather than with a caregiver, surely it does not ask so many questions and does not miss you so much.
– Irritability. As you will not be going through your best moment, it is very easy to lose your temper with the family. Avoid having a bad family environment. In the event that your child knows that you are looking for another child, he may feel bad if he sees that by not getting it you fight or are in a worse mood. It could even start to catch a future baby who has not yet been conceived.
– Do not neglect your children. As much as possible, try to find at least 20 minutes a day to spend with your current son or daughter. He has to feel important, let him see that even though you want another child, you will always have time for him or her . You should feel just as loved and cared for as before, even more. In the case that it is something older you should include it in the process so that it feels important and that it sees that you value its opinion. So the acceptance of the new little brother is more bearable. For example, you can ask him for a name that he would like it to have or things like that.