Dealing with secondary infertility is never easy, but there are ways to move forward. You can still pursue your dream of starting or growing your family.
In this guide, we’ll examine:
- What secondary infertility is
- How accepting secondary infertility is possible
- Ways to move forward from secondary infertility
You can contact a surrogacy professional to learn how people like you have moved on from secondary infertility and successfully used other family-building options. But, continue reading for tips on how accepting secondary infertility is possible.
The Challenges of Dealing with Secondary Infertility
Before we describe how to deal with and accept a secondary infertility diagnosis, we want to acknowledge the difficulty of this diagnosis.
Because you were able to have a child in the past, you likely were surprised when your doctor came to you with a secondary infertility diagnosis. Knowing you aren’t alone is important and secondary infertility is common – it’s just as common as primary infertility.
But, just because secondary infertility is common doesn’t mean it’s easy to accept. Infertility counselors and support groups can help you work through your emotions.
Why Dealing with Secondary Infertility is Difficult
While men and women experience secondary infertility, this diagnosis can be especially hard for women. In the article “Coping With Secondary Infertility” by Anne Machalinski, Jill Valentino, a grade school teacher, struggled for five years to have her second child and experienced dismissive doctors early in her journey.
“I didn’t know that there was a name for what I was going through and didn’t really talk about it much,” Valentino said. “Until I started Googling, I had never even heard of secondary infertility.”
Common Misconceptions about Secondary Infertility
Although secondary infertility is common, people experiencing this diagnosis often feel shame or dismissed because of some common misconceptions.
- “Secondary infertility isn’t a big deal because you already have a child”: Anyone trying to have a second child knows that this line of thinking is unhelpful and hurtful. You care for, love, and are grateful for your child, but that doesn’t make secondary infertility any easier to accept. If you had a vision in mind for your family and have dreamed of having multiple children and now worry you cannot, that’s real, and your grief is valid.
- “You’re older, so you should accept your diagnosis”: It’s normal to want to continue to grow your family after age 35, and no one – not even your doctor – should make you feel bad about your dream.
Accepting Secondary Infertility
Accepting secondary infertility doesn’t mean you’re giving up on your dream. Accepting secondary infertility means you know your diagnosis and are moving forward.
Some common solutions for people accepting secondary infertility include:
Choosing to Have one Child
There’s nothing wrong with changing your family-building goals and having one child. Take all the time you need to determine that having one child is the right choice for you.
Trying Infertility Treatments
Doctors can try many fertility treatments to help men and women overcome secondary infertility. Some common infertility treatments include:
- Oral and injectable fertility mediations
- Intrauterine insemination (with your gametes or donor gametes)
- In vitro fertilization (with your gametes or donor gametes)
Pursuing Other Family Building Options After Accepting Secondary Infertility
Sometimes, people need extra help to conceive, and that’s OK. The following options involve other people outside your couple who can help you build your family.
A surrogacy involves you (intended parents), a surrogate, and typically, a surrogacy agency.
During a surrogacy journey, a surrogate undergoes IVF (with your gametes or donor gametes). If IVF is successful, the surrogate will carry your child to term, and you will go home with your baby once they are born.
While you could choose to go through surrogacy on your own, there are many benefits to working with surrogacy agencies. Agencies will provide you with:
- A surrogacy professional who supports you
- Legal protections and guidance through the medical process
- Financial protection
- Surrogate matching services
- And more
You also could choose to adopt a child with the help of an adoption agency. There are several types of adoption, including domestic infant adoption.
In this process, a woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy chooses adoption for her baby. She makes an adoption plan and selects the adoptive family she believes will give her baby a life full of love, security and opportunity.
Next Steps Toward Accepting Secondary Infertility and Moving Forward
Accepting secondary infertility isn’t easy. But, once you process your emotions and figure out what you want, you can forge a path forward. Contact us today to find out about your family-building options and to start making your plan.