Secondary infertility is just as common as primary infertility, but it’s less discussed.
We want to tell you that you are not alone and that even though getting an infertility diagnosis is common, it’s not any easier to accept.
You can contact us today if you want to talk about your family-building options. But, continue reading to find out the answer to the question, “How common is secondary infertility,” and answers to other frequently asked questions about infertility and family building.
Question 1: What is Secondary Infertility?
Secondary infertility is when a couple cannot conceive or carry a baby to term after having one successful pregnancy without fertility challenges.
A doctor can diagnose secondary infertility after a couple younger than 35 has a year of unprotected, regular sex without conceiving, and six months for couples older than 35.
Question 2: How Common is Secondary Infertility?
According to RMA, one in eight couples (12.5%) experience infertility, and 50% of those cases result from secondary infertility.
Secondary infertility can happen because of the male partner, female partner, or both partners.
- 33% of all infertility cases are due to the woman
- 33% of all infertility cases are due to the man
- 33% of infertility cases are due to both partners and aren’t known
Question 3: What are the Causes of Infertility?
There are many reasons why a person may experience secondary infertility.
How Common is Secondary Infertility in Women?
Secondary infertility in women has many causes, some of which are treatable.
- A low amount of eggs
- An insufficient amount of quality eggs
- Fallopian tube blockage due to infections and other structural challenges
- Uterus scarring, fibroids, and polyps
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Lifestyle changes (breastfeeding, weight change, certain medications, etc.)
How Common is Secondary Infertility in Men?
Secondary infertility in men also has many causes, some of which are treatable.
- Reduced testosterone
- Testicular varicocele
- Semen quality issues
- Prostate enlargement or removal
- Late-onset hypogonadism (reduced hormone secretion)
- Lifestyle changes (certain medications, weight change, chemical exposure, certain sexual lubricants, etc.)
Question 4: Are There Secondary Infertility Treatments?
Yes, there are four main infertility treatments a doctor may try. These common treatments include:
- Infertility medications, like oral and injectable drugs
- Surgery that can repair internal or external structures
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI) with your and your partner’s gametes or donor gametes
- In vitro fertilization (IVF) with your and your partner’s gametes or donor gametes
Question 5: Is it Normal to Feel Sad After Stopping Infertility Treatment?
Yes, if you’ve been through infertility treatment, it’s OK to decide you don’t want to go through any more fertility cycles. Infertility treatment can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.
Although you know you want to move on from fertility treatment, you may not be ready to try other family-building options.
It’s normal to take some time after a secondary infertility diagnosis to gather your emotions and determine how you feel. People commonly feel grief and frustration, and sometimes guilt.
We want to tell you that you aren’t alone and your feelings are normal.
Even if you aren’t ready to pursue other family-building options like surrogacy, surrogacy professionals can give you infertility counselor and support group references to help. Take all the time you need. Whenever you’re ready, you can pursue surrogacy.
Question 6: Can I Choose Surrogacy to Grow My Family?
Yes, you can always choose surrogacy to grow your family.
Surrogacy involves surrogates, intended parents (you), and most often, surrogacy agencies.
When you choose surrogacy, you and your partner’s gametes (or donor gametes) create an embryo that’s placed into the surrogate’s uterus. The goal is for the embryo to implant in the uterus lining and for pregnancy to happen.
Although you can choose to pursue surrogacy on your own, the entire experience is a lot easier when you work with a surrogacy agency. Surrogacy agencies also provide intended parents with many benefits, including:
- A surrogacy professional to support you
- Assistance during the medical surrogacy process
- Surrogate match-making
- Financial protection
- And more
Next Steps Toward Building Your Family
Knowing the answers to common infertility questions, like “How common is secondary infertility,” can help you determine how you want to handle your diagnosis.