Mother and Baby

Is Secondary Infertility Stopping You From Expanding Your Family?

Section: Fertility

You had no trouble conceiving your first baby, but trying for your second is proving that little bit trickier. Here’s how to cope when secondary infertility strikes

If you have one child surely it follows you should be able to conceive a second? Not necessarily if recent stats are anything to go by. A study from the US revealed that secondary infertility accounts for three out of five of all infertility cases.

Secondary infertility can be stressful – you’re grateful that you have your first born but can’t help feeling your family isn’t quite complete. More so because it can be tricky to work out why it’s so hard to conceive this time round.

It could be down to a fertility condition, such as fallopian tube damage caused by your first pregnancy Or it could just be due to your very different lifestyle as a mum (More tired? Check. Less sex? Check. Jeans a bit tighter? Check)
So what do you need to do if you find yourself struggling to conceive second time around?

Stay Fertility Fit

Be conscious of your health and nutrition. ‘And adopt a healthy diet and exercise regime to try to avoid excessive weight gain which can affect fertility,’ advises Dr Raj.  Plus, the fitter you feel, the more likely you’ll be in the mood for TTC sex.

Secondary infertility can be stressful – you’re grateful that you have your first born but can’t help feeling your family isn’t quite complete

Make love not war

It can be tricky to keep the passion alive with a baby or toddler occupying your side of the bed. But just as it was important for conceiving baby one, having plenty of well timed sex is equally as vital second time around. But while ovulation calculators and monitors can help, it’s best not to get too hung up on when you’re having sex.

‘One thing I see in my practice is couples whose sex lives are dictated by their ovulation monitors,’ says Dr Raj Mathur, Consultant Gynaecologist at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. ‘Evidence seems to suggest that these they may in fact cause more anxiety than benefit.’

Don’t panic

Stress and anxiety about not being pregnant can play a big part in preventing it happening in the first place. It’s hard to ignore the sinking sadness every month when your period arrives and you realise you’re not pregnant, but try not to let it take over and put some coping techniques in place.

Take some time out to pamper yourself and maybe even consider taking some time out from trying. How many couples have got pregnant the second they stop? Exactly!

Seek Help

Particularly if you’ve been trying and haven’t conceived in a year. If you’re 40 or above, it’s a good idea to seek help sooner. Similarly, if you have irregular cycles, or pelvic pain, don’t wait a year but head to your GP. Chances are you’ll be referred for a specialist opinion and they may start to discuss fertility treatment options. 


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