Why a second child can be so hard to conceive

Why a second child can be so hard to conceive

Are you having trouble getting pregnant again? Learn all about secondary infertility here.

Many couples who found it rather easy to conceive their first baby, struggle when trying to conceive a second child.  In fact, many couples who seek treatment at fertility clinics are already parents.

This situation is more common than one may think and is termed “secondary infertility”.

secondary infertility

Many couples who try to get pregnant for the second time face issues.

Couples having difficulty getting pregnant the second time around have many questions such as how could this happen and what can be done to achieve a pregnancy.

To answer these and other questions on secondary infertility, fertility specialist Dr. Roland Chieng, the Medical Director for Virtus Fertility Centre Singapore, shares his expertise. He assists couples struggling to conceive; his special areas of interest being male infertility, reproductive microsurgery, fertility preservation, obstetrics and gynaecology.

How secondary infertility differs from trying to get pregnant the first time around
secondary infertility

Trying and not succeeding to have a baby can be stressful – even if it’s the second time around.

Though it seems unthinkable, some women develop infertility conditions after their last child is born.

It is possible, according to Dr. Chieng, that a woman’s underlying health condition which did not surface when she first conceived, can impact her ability to conceive again.

Read on to find out, when should you begin to look for help…

How secondary infertility happens

Some parents who try for baby number two could be trying to conceive for more than a year and still be unsuccessful. Multiple miscarriages and failure to become pregnant or to carry a pregnancy to term can be some of the problems that they face.

secondary infertility

A woman’s age and weight play a role in secondary infertility.

It can be caused by the following:

  • Advanced age, as a woman’s fertility potential drops with advancing age and decreases her chances to become pregnant.
  • Increased body weight that affects ovulation and pregnancy
  • Lesser or infrequent sexual intercourse, when fertility is already low
When to seek medical help
secondary infertility

It is best to seek medical advice if you have been trying to get pregnant for a while.

Earlier assessment will be recommended if there are any obvious conditions such as infrequent menses, previous pelvic infection or pelvic operations, and in the case of men, a known history of a poor quality sperm or low level of male sex hormones.

It is best to seek advice from a doctor if you have been trying:

  • For one year and you are less than 35 years old
  • For six months and you are older than 35 years old

Go to the next page to know how to increase the odds of a second pregnancy…

Lifestyle factors that contribute to secondary infertility

A couple’s lifestyle obviously changes after having a child. Sexual intercourse is likely to be less frequent than before. This is detrimental to an already low fertility  that was possibly overcome previously by frequent sexual intercourse.

Some women also tend to have a higher body weight after having their first baby. If a woman’s weight is excessive, hormonal regulation and fertility are affected.

secondary infertility

Stress can have an impact on a couple’s sex life.

Increasing the odds of getting pregnant

Women should be conscious of the effect of age on fertility. Most doctors advise women to try for a second child as early as possible, especially if aged 35 or older.

Another important factor to consider is sexual frequency. By default, this lowers as a woman ages and especially if the couple has other children. Therefore, most doctors advise couples to have more frequent sexual intercourse when trying for a second child.

secondary infertility

Regular exercise can help a woman maintain a healthy body weight, in turn helping increase fertility.

Maintaining a healthy body weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise is of utmost importance to optimize the chances of conception again.

Parents, have you experienced secondary infertility? What course of action did you take? Let us know by leaving a comment below. 

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Written by

Minoli Almeida

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