Secondary Infertility – What Are Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment Options

Secondary Infertility

A lot of couples have problems getting pregnant again. It means they can’t have a second child after having one or more children successfully. This is a difficult and emotional issue. It can be only as upsetting to deal with this issue because of the shame and false beliefs surrounding it. What does secondary infertility really mean? Who can it affect? What are the different types, causes, symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments for female infertility condition? Let’s take a look at that.

Understanding Secondary Infertility

Sometimes people with one or more biological children can’t get pregnant again. They may have been pregnant before with no major issues. But their infertility doesn’t allow them to become pregnant. This is the scenario of secondary infertility.

Which People Can Get Secondary Infertility?

Secondary infertility can happen to any couple, even if they have been able to have children before. Couples who already have one or more biological children and want to have more may have to deal with secondary infertility. It is important to know that this condition doesn’t care about age, race, or anything else; it can happen to both men and women.

Which Types of Secondary Infertility are the Most Important?

Secondary infertility has two main groups:

1. Temporary Secondary Infertility:

Couples may have trouble conceiving or carrying for a short time, usually because of stress, changes in lifestyle, or short-term health problems. After fixing these issues, fertility can return.

2. Permanent secondary infertility

Individuals may experience permanent secondary infertility due to factors like aging, dealing with a significant medical condition, or undergoing irreversible surgery. These circumstances create complexities that hinder the ability to achieve pregnancy

What are the Primary Causes of Secondary Infertility?

To know the actual thing that causes infertility and its treatment, it’s important to know what common causes secondary infertility in the first place. These are some common reasons:

Type of Age: Age is the main factor contributing causes of female infertility. This might make it harder for them to have a second child.

Hormonal Imbalances: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid problems can throw off the balance of hormones, which can make it harder to get pregnant.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Untreated infections or a history of infections may damage and scar the fallopian tubes. It creates challenges for eggs to reach the uterus

Male Infertility Factors: The causes of infertility in men, like a low sperm count or bad sperm quality, can make it harder for women to get pregnant again.

Problems with the uterus: Fibroids, polyps, and other problems with the uterus can make it hard for the embryo to implant.

Lifestyle Factors: Both men and women can lose their fertility if they smoke. Drink too much alcohol, are overweight, or don’t do much physical activity.

Have a Look at the Symptoms of Secondary Infertility

Secondary infertility may not have any clear signs, unlike primary infertility. Couples who want to have a second child might not notice any specific signs that they are having trouble getting pregnant. So, it’s important to think about fertility testing after trying to get pregnant for a long time. Usually, it takes one year for couples under 35 and six months for those over 35.

Find out if you have Secondary Infertility with this Test

A thorough medical history and a test battery can determine infertility effects. Some test which is done to know the reason which affects fertility are:

  1. Hormone Testing: This involves drawing blood to check the levels of hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in both partners.

  2. Ovulation Tracking: Keeping an eye on a woman’s menstrual cycle to see if she ovulates regularly.

  3. Semen Analysis: The number of sperm production, how fast they move, and their shape are all measured from a sample of semen.

  4. Hysterosalpingography: Hysterosalpingography is an X-ray test that checks the health of the uterus and fallopian tubes.

  5. Ultrasound: Imaging tests can be used to look for problems in the reproductive organs.

  6. Laparoscopy: It is an invasive surgery used to look for problems like endometriosis or scarring in the pelvic organs.

What Are Treatments for Secondary Infertility?

The best way to treat secondary infertility in women depends on what caused it in the first place. Some common types of treatment for trying to conceive are:

Changes to your lifestyle: Eating well, working out regularly, and avoiding smoking, and alcohol can help you get pregnant.

Drugs: Fertility drugs can be used to stop ovulation, fix hormonal problems, or make more eggs.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI): For better chances of getting pregnant, sperm are put directly into the uterus during ovulation.

In vitro fertilization (IVF): This is the more advanced way to get pregnant. Eggs and sperm are mixed outside of the body, and the embryos that are made are then put into the uterus.

Surgery: Uterine fibroids, polyps, and blocked fallopian tubes are some of the problems that can be fixed through surgery.

Donor Options: Using eggs, sperm, or embryos from a donor may be a good option in some situations.

If you experiencing infertility check our latest blog:  Premature Ejaculation: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment


Secondary infertility is difficult to manage alone. Knowing there are infertility support groups for men and women is crucial. The National Infertility Association offers a wide range of support groups across the country for individuals experiencing infertility. Find a local meeting using their type of Infertility Support Group Finder.

Couples who have had successful pregnancies rarely consider secondary infertility. Though upsetting, many couples can overcome infertility and have more children with the right diagnosis and fertility treatment. Consult Ritu IVF fertility specialists to navigate this difficult process.