Infertility Fast Facts
Couples approximately in the United States, or 10 percent of all couples of childbearing age, have difficulty conceiving.
When a couple is unable to conceive after they have had successful pregnancies in the past, without the use of fertility medications or assisted reproductive technologies, this condition is called secondary infertility. Thought to be more common then primary infertility, secondary infertility often receives less coverage and support.
In many cases, secondary infertility catches couples off guard since they had no trouble conceiving in the past. The emotional impact of secondary infertility can cause feelings such as anger, grief, depression, sadness, loneliness, jealousy, blaming yourself, and guilt.
Often, couples experiencing secondary infertility feel guilty because the child that they already have may receive less attention as they focus on conceiving again. Many couples want their child to grow up with have a sibling, especially if they have fond memories of their own siblings and childhoods. Understanding and accepting that families come in all sizes can help make dealing with secondary infertility a little easier.
Because they had no issues in the past, many couples who are experiencing secondary infertility think that infertility will not happen to them, so seeing a doctor may be delayed. Postponing an evaluation could potentially lower the treatment success rates.
Secondary infertility is caused by the same factors as primary infertility and can be treated with surgery, fertility medications, timed intercourse, intrauterine insemination (IUI), and in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The course of action chosen depends solely on the individual couple’s situation.
As a couple, you need to decide what works best for you and your partner. Couples who want a second child and cannot conceive of face similar feelings and emotions as someone who is experiencing primary infertility. During this time, it is important for you and your better to get the support you need. Reach out to friends, find a support group, or consider professional counseling. The ultimate goal is for each couple to feel comfortable with the situation and make the right decision for their family.