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Why can a second child be hard to conceive?

fertility issues and IVF

Despite falling pregnant easily the first-time round, women are increasingly struggling to conceive their second child and up to one in five couples trying for a second child is diagnosed with secondary infertility, most of the time unexplained. So what is going wrong?  For specialists such as Dr Lavery, second infertility should be treated very differently to primary infertility. Indeed ‘the couples have already proved everything works, therefore we have to look at what’s happened to make it more difficult this time around,’ says Dr Lavery.  ‘Normally with baby number one, we say you should be trying for about a year before seeking help, but if number two has not happened after six months of trying, we recommend taking action.’

Unexplained Secondary Infertility

If you have gone to the doctor’s and it seems that all tests are normal, then it is worth having a look at what else may be different.  If falling pregnant the first time around was easy it is possible that you are putting stress on yourself to get pregnant again and stress as you may know is likely to work against you and any of your plans when it comes to fertility (More about the effect of stress on your fertility).

Unfortunately in our society many people expect life to follow a certain plan, we chose when to get married, buy a house, change jobs and we think we can have the same control over getting pregnant and when it doesn’t happen, we don’t accept that this may be out of our control and we need to “fix it” often by going down the route of fertility treatments and although IVF has given hope and successful pregnancies to many parents who could not conceive it may not be the best solution or even necessary.  If you have had a successful pregnancy in the past then obviously your body can do it but it is possible that the stress of having a young child and the tiredness that comes with it, or even the demands of having a job and a child are putting your body under too much pressure.  Fertility in terms of Chinese Medicine has as much if not more to do with your overall state as it does with your diagnosed gynaecological health.  If you are run down, lacking sleep, eating poorly because you are juggling work with being young parents it is possible than addressing those things through some lifestyle changes as well as therapies like acupuncture, which has a good track record in boosting fertility, would be sufficient to bring about the awaited pregnancy.

It is also worth noting that if the first pregnancy and/or birth was difficult, it may have depleted your body enough that it will make a second pregnancy more difficult. In addition, sperm tests may show that results are within the “normal” range but has there been a deterioration since last time?  If so, any change there will have affected your fertility as a couple.  Although it is important to take action if you are struggling to fall pregnant again, it is worth looking at your overall state of health (and your partner’s) and see what can be improved.  Not only this may save you from undergoing expensive and stressful fertility treatments, if you do have to go down that route you will stand a better chance of success as your body will be at its best.

This article describes very well the how two women struggled through a diagnosis of “secondary infertility”.