What is the Cause of Secondary Infertility?

What is the Cause of Secondary Infertility?

Secondary infertility is a condition where a couple has previously had at least one child but fails to conceive another baby after one year of well-timed, repeated attempts to conceive. This can be due to a multitude of reasons including a change in the male partner or other fertility issues that have newly developed.

Although assumed not to be common, around 11% of couples who already have a child face secondary infertility. It is more common than primary infertility where the couple is trying to conceive for the first time and faces infertility. Being diagnosed with secondary infertility can be emotionally difficult.

Possible Causes for Secondary Infertility

The problems that lead to secondary infertility are the same as the ones that may cause primary infertility. Some of the causes of secondary infertility are mentioned below.

  • Male infertility: Due to decreased sperm count, motility or due to morphological abnormalities, male infertility can occur. Time can affect the ability of a man to produce sperms and a change of medication or lifestyle may account to this as well.
  • Issues with ovulation: It can be caused due to irregular ovulation or anovulation as well. PCOS is another condition that can lead to disorder in ovulation.
  • Damaged uterus or fallopian tubes due to endometriosis and PID
  • Blockages due to fibroids
  • A history of ectopic pregnancy that has led to broken fallopian tubes.
  • PID- Pelvic inflammatory disorder: PID is caused by a sexually transmitted infection.
  • Being underweight or overweight
  • Recurrent miscarriages
  • Immunological issues
  • Hostile cervical mucus
  • Adhesions or uterine scarring

Treatments for Secondary Infertility

The tests for secondary infertility involve the same ones performed for primary infertility including tests of sperm as well as for the quality of egg cells released. There are various treatment options for secondary infertility:

medications: Medications for improving one's fertility can be administered orally or through injections. They can help prompt the ovary to produce multiple mature eggs which can improve the chances of conceiving by a lot.

IUI - Intrauterine Insemination: In this treatment, a semen sample is washed and concentrated and transferred directly into the uterine cavity during ovulation. This treatment helps the sperm be closer to the egg and hence increases the chances of successful fertilization.

IVF or In-Vitro Fertilization: This ART involves the combining of retrieved eggs and sperm samples in a dish and transferring the embryo into the uterus after few days of embryo culture.