Fertility Network UK

Struggling with secondary infertility

Hi all I’m new on here and hoping for some support. I have a 5 year old daughter conceived 1 month of trying, however, I’ve been trying to conceive a second baby for around 3 years now with no success. My partner and I have had tests and are currently under the care of a fertility consultant but all our tests came back clear and we have the diagnosis of secondary infertility which is so frustrating as there is no reason! I was given Clomid last year (I am ovulating on my own however) but nothing. I’m so down and tearful all the time and feel like I’m grieving every month when my period comes. I have been to the doctor who has said I am suffering with depression and anxiety. Has anyone else ever gone through this with a happy ending? And what do you do to cope as I feel at the minute I can’t and everyone around me seems to be falling pregnant :(

Any help would be massively appreciated!

Rach x

58 Replies
oldestnewest

It’s just difficult to switch off it’s always there in the back of my mind so ends up in a vicious circle. Hopefully this site will help x

Reply

There’s very little proper evidence that stress or depression affects fertility in women who are ovulating. The jury is still out. Please don’t add worry about being down to your other worries! You will find plenty of support on this site, we all know how bad you feel. Xx

4 likes
Reply

Have to agree with you Lizzie I conceived my daughter at the most stressful time in my life I was immensely stressed and also on the pill (can't, have, been taking it right) there's bound to be other reasons. Just try have sex every other day to maximize chances 💗🤗😘

2 likes
Reply

You are a fabulous help x

2 likes
Reply

Bless ya. Wish you luck hun 💗🤗😘

2 likes
Reply

Thank you, this site is really informative x

2 likes
Reply

I feel exactly the same. My child is also 5 and I’ve got sluggish tubes endo related - still not enough to be completely infertile, could end up with ectopic if I had a hint of a positive test. I’ve also been trying three years, I completely get where you’re coming from. Conceived first time within a month too which makes this even more heartbreaking. You’re not alone xx

Reply

I’m sorry to hear that being a woman is hard sometimes! As weird as it sounds it’s nice to know I’m not alone! X

Reply

It’s hard when my child asks about brothers or sisters. I kinda have a lump in my throat and just try to say but look at all the things you do have. Also, I think some with primary infertility may think at least you have one, but I think it’s just as hard. All the mums at the school say ‘about time you had another!’ While they’re on baby no 3. It used to get me down but now I just think I’m getting used to the idea. My body just isn’t built for having a load of kids. I should focus elsewhere ... maybe :) xx

1 like
Reply

It’s like I wrote this!! More pressure for a second baby I feel. Fingers crossed for us all!! X

2 likes
Reply

This is so similar to my story, my son is 4 and I've been trying for 2 years had a lap and one tube was blocked now unblocked this was two weeks ago now and I'm just still suffering with the anxiety it won't happen :( I also conceived my son within a month

1 like
Reply

Horrible isn’t it, I am finding talking and support on here a big help so hopefully same for you. It’s the anxiety that’s hard to shift, xx

Reply

Very horrible, I've always followed posts but never plucked up the courage to sign up, now I've signed up I can't get off, it such a good help these forums atleast we can all journey togeyher x

1 like
Reply

Me too had the link for about the year wish I’d done it sooner to be honest sometimes it’s the reassurance that your not alone especially when feeling sad that helps get through and everyone has been so nice 💗

2 likes
Reply

Hi Rachel- sorry to hear that you are feeling so low. I don’t think it makes a difference whether we are having trouble conceiving our first or our second or third child- at the end of the day, we are all in the same boat in that we feel our family is incomplete. Don’t feel guilty for feeling how you are and it is easier said than done to “focus on the positive” and it is not a case of snapping out of it. Are you having any counselling as it sounds like that would be very helpful. Speak to your doctor or if you are able to afford it look at the UK chartered psychotherapist website (UKCP). Sending you big hugs. Be kind to yourself- what would you say to your best friend if she was feeling how you are? X

2 likes
Reply

I saw my doctor and he gave me printouts for breathing not very helpful but il look at that website for sure! Thank you so much for your kind words, sometimes knowing your not alone and a little reassurance changes your whole mindset! Thank you so much xx

Reply

Sweetie so sorry to hear this. When our struggles started I felt the same. I felt less of a woman. A let down to my partner and if someone else told me not to stress as that could be the cause I think I would scream!! I have two naturally and with out even trying to not to be able to have one was devastating. I ovulated but I was on the mirena coil and nothing was the same thereafter. My AMH turned out to be low. That was devastating. We sought treatment and went with INVICTA in Gdańsk. There are lots of options sometimes just assisting the fertilization of your eggs and sperm. I fully believe taking control and having informed information helped me. I wish you luck. Remember in your low times that little one you have needs a happy mummy. I would suggest 👀 at options to help you feel more in control. Good luck xxx

1 like
Reply

Hi there, I feel like I could have written your post! My daughter is also five and was conceived very quickly. We have been trying for a couple of years for another baby without luck, also unexplained secondary fertility. Time is ticking as I turn 40 this year. Of course I feel so lucky to have a gorgeous daughter and am thankful for her every day. However I can relate to the grief and loss you express at not being able to have another child. It is the hardest thing I have ever been through and makes me feel so sad. It is getting a bit easier though as time goes by. I have found engrossing myself in other things helps and I also do yoga and mindfulness when I remember! One thing that has really helped me to keep calm is acupuncture. I also see a counsellor from time to time which has really helped. I am currently on my 2ww of 2nd ivf attempt so trying my best not to think about it. I guess I want you to know that you are not alone and to thank you for writing this post and reminding me that I am not the only one in this situation. Wishing you all the best xxx

2 likes
Reply

Thank you I’m sorry to hear of your struggles, your right it is the hardest thing. I also tried acupuncture but got to a point where I couldn’t afford the twice weekly sessions so had to give that up. I know I’m luckier than most to even have a healthy daughter but there’s that part of me yearning for another. Fingers crossed for you 🤞🏻💗

Reply

It does get expensive. I have used two different acupuncturists and both have been happy to see me fortnightly. I have it weekly during an ivf cycle and more frequently around transfer time. Also, I have heard of some acupuncturists offering group acupuncture to keep costs low. My fertility clinic offers free counselling which is really helpful. Wishing you lots of luck xxx

1 like
Reply

Good luck with your ivf cycle this time xx

Reply

Thank you x

Reply

I know how you feel, I conceived and gave birth to a little girl who was born sleeping, but then haven’t been able to conceive since. Every period feels like a miscarriage as there’s always the hope that ‘this time I might be pregnant’! I even feel like I have pregnancy symptoms each month! People telling you not to worry will not help at all, so here’s something that might ‘soften the blow’... when your period comes, give yourself a big treat, hopefully involving wine, your favourite takeaway and lots of chocolate all in front of your favourite movie (even if you have to wait until your little one’s gone to bed!). You’ll start to dread your period less, especially if you’re trying not to drink in between!! Hope this helps and good luck xxxx

Reply

I’m so sorry. Thank you for your kind words, this site is helping a lot with my negative thoughts x

1 like
Reply

Oh Hun this journey is really hard sometimes. I have a 9yr old from a previous relationship, me and my husband have been trying for a baby for over 3.5 years! I recently found out I have damaged tubes which I was not expecting. The desire to have another is always there and it's bound to upset you and make you feel anxious and stressed. My 9yr old is always going on about wanting a brother or sister. I always have people asking if we are going to have a child together, I wish it was that easy. Most of my friends have 2/3kids and I do find it unfair sometimes. Your not alone in this there a plenty of women struggling with secondary infertility. I wish you lots of luck on your journey xxx

Reply

Thank you! This support group is really helping I must say. Fingers crossed for you too x

Reply

I think you’re doing the right thing 3 years is too long and this needs investigating. Yes there is every hope that with fertility treatment there can be a happy ending. I can also guarantee it’s nothing you’re doing wrong.

Get your fertility clinic to test for ‘Killer Cells’ can be resolved with strong steroids.

Reply

Thank you x

Reply

Hello, I'm in the same position, I feel pregnant first month of trying and we have a four year old and have been trying to conceive for 2 years. I've just had our first round of IUI, which wasn't successful so we are going straight ahead with another round of IUI. If this one doesn't work we will go for IVF. It's frustrating/heartbreaking/totally confusing and I have so much guilt we haven't got a sibling for our little boy. I feel better we are now getting 'extra help' and I'm hopeful we will eventually have another one. I think I'm going to have some acupuncture along with our IUI this time around with the hope it might release some stress. You're not alone xxx

2 likes
Reply

Fingers crossed for you, it does help to share its surprising how many people have struggles x

Reply

It's heartbreaking every month and I've been told I have had mild depression, although I do feel a lot better now... I think a turning point was when me and my husband FINALLY had a huge long conversation about it all. All the things I thought would have been obvious to him he had no idea... Things like he was insisting on inviting some friends to come and stay with us with their two children, one of which was a baby, and I explained being woke up by a crying baby would kill me but somehow this hadn't crossed his mind..... I know, go figure. Maybe think about have a long chat with your partner and it might help..... And maybe go and a have a boozy girls night, that also helped me unwind a bit, although I know it's not for everyone. Fingers crossed we all get some good news. Xxx

1 like
Reply

I often find myself reading posts like this when I am down as it does feel like everyone around me is celebrating their happy news. It’s a horrible side effect of secondary infertility that you are surrounded by friends, NCT group from the first time around, nursery or school mums all of whom are welcoming 2nd or 3rd babies. And those who were your support network a few years back are now the ones you find yourself pulling away from to protect yourself. It’s really only on these websites that you see people just like you, ones who understand the sadness.

I feel your pain Rach. I too grieve every time my period comes. I’ve spent time researching on the internet for coping strategies, most of which just annoy the crap out of me. It’s hard to distract your mind from something you think about a few times every day!

To bring myself back to sanity I remind myself that all it takes is one - what I mean is we just need one sperm to fertilise one egg and for that one to stick. I hope that all of us on this website get lucky soon and get our “one” xx

2 likes
Reply

Oh and wine 🍷 lots of it!! Every time I have my period I find a nice bottle and pair it with unpasteurised cheeses and charcuterie, got to enjoy it while we can!

3 likes
Reply

Ahh thank you this site has really started to help me it’s like a new support network for people who actually understand! Xx

1 like
Reply

I totally feel the same bout mummy friends. We shared such a special experience together with first time babies and maternity leave & I feel like I am missing out on the second time around. I also feel like I avoid visiting or even talking about babies in case my daughter asks for one it breaks my heart! My sister is due a baby in a few days & my wee girl is calling herself the big sister - don’t know whether to laugh or cry! Like you say one egg one sperm how hard can it be?! Do you have any ideas of what’s wrong? I have low amh & my leutal phase is a bit short but gynae seems to brush those off as unimportant- that ‘long as you have regular cycles’ phrase is getting old. Like you I try to look for the many positives, most of all the fortune of already being a Mum which I am forever grateful for. Good luck x

Reply

I feel like I could have written this post myself I feel exactly the same. We have a 6 year old daughter who was conceived within a few months of trying. I stupidly thought #2 would be the same! We started trying in Dec 2016 and I haven't had a positive pregnancy test in all that time! We have had all the tests that have come back good for both of us and we have been put in the secondary infertility bracket. Every month I'm not pregnant I feel a slither of hope being sliced away. I've tried 50mg Clomid for 3 months-no pregnancy. We are back to the specialist end if Feb to see if we go for IVF which we will have to pay for ourselves x

Reply

This is like a mirror to me! To make it worse my 2ww ended today in my period so gutted another month wasted :( I to thought #2 would be easy. I hope for the best for you and hope number 2 happens soon xx

Reply

I feel your pain Hun, my period started on Saturday that was my last month of Clomid and we had covered the whole month on the ❤️ Front so why it didn't happen is a mystery! I've endured 2 pregnancy announcements this week and I cant help but feel bitter and twisted.. This journey turns you into a different person 🙈 are you seeing a specialist? We are looking at IVF abroad as its so much cheaper than the uk xx

Reply

My husbands sisters have both had pregnancies and I just can’t be as happy as I should be - your right bitter is the word! I also have had 3 months on Clomid and nothing!! Due end of April for my follow up ( had an appointment about 3 weeks ago with my fertility consultant but as I was in a bad way she said to hold off more clomid until I can get some help so hopefully come April I can try again. We were also told ivf but it is so expensive and no guarantee then we were told about ivf in Greece so much more cheaper so maybe down that route it’s just frustrating and I’m not getting any younger! Can’t believe how similar our situations are! Xx

Reply

its crazy how similar it is! We are under the fertility specialist in Wrexham north wales and I'm on count down now until the 26th Feb! I feel like we are in limbo with no plan in place and I don't like it lol! She told us about Cyprus and Greece! £1700 plus drugs in Cyprus and £1900 plus drugs in Greece we will defo be going abroad we can't afford the £8000 it would cost us for one go in Shrewsbury 😳 I feel like my clock is ticking I'm 33 this year and have been made very aware of how everything is getting older and not as good as it was when we got pregnant with our daughter 😂 The age gap is another big thing she will be 7 this summer xx

Reply

Karen ansell by any chance? That’s who I’m with at Wrexham too!!

Reply

I also didn’t want a big age gap and that’s getting bigger all the time :(

Reply

Lol yes Karen Ansell! It's a small world. She was 4 when we started trying and I thought by the time she's 5 we would have a baby and it's a nice gap I could kick myself I wish we had tried sooner but there we go we can't change things can we x

Reply

I know I wish I’d started earlier guess I thought it would just happen like with my daughter! Karen’s lovely hopefully you get the happy ending. Very very small world! 💗

Reply

I echo this feel I’ve lost a bit of the old me and I want it back. Just to feel happy - I am so self critical through this whole process it’s like my body is against me. Pregnancy announcements are hard but I find once the baby is born it’s easier than the bump was! x

Reply

It's rubbish how this process makes you feel☹️ I feel that way as well - When they read out our results they said my partners SA results were 'excellent' so I can't help but blame myself thinking its my crappy eggs getting older. That's very true the announcements are defo the worst - my stomach flips when I see a scan picture and I hate myself for feeling that way. I've found as well everywhere I go there are baby bumps! Please let that be us soon 🙏🏻 x

Reply

She's lovely when I last saw her she was due to visit the clinic in Greece in Nov so I'm looking forward to hearing what she has to say, she mentioned one of them you may be able to have your bloods/scans done in Shrewsbury and then fly out for IVF so I hope that can be done it would make life a lot easier that way! And you lovely, I know it's hard but we have to try and think positive and your not alone 😘 x

Reply

Hi Rach sorry to hear you are feeling so down. I also have secondary infertility- coming up to the 2 years of trying mark and my beautiful daughter is nearly 4 & was conceived first month. It is so hard to understand why it can’t happen again and I think everyone assumes when you have one that you are fertile & that it’s fine to ask when the next is coming! My sister is due a baby this week and my husbands sister in March so finding it all quite tough. To top it off my mum is seriously ill so it’s hard times indeed I’m not sure how much longer my sanity will last. I’m coming up for 34 & we have had one unsuccessful ivf but not sure I can handle another try whilst caring for my mum too, especially if it results in a bfn! It might just break me. We are unexplained too except that I have low amh. Same as you I constantly look at other mothers with their broods and feel a pang of jealousy. I also look at people with 2 babies very close in age and wish I’d tried much sooner (although it does look like hard work). As with you I cherish my daughter but also want to give her the gift of being a big sister with a friend for life. You are doing the right thing starting out with tests - taking control of the situation is a good feeling . Keep in touch & good luck xx

Reply

Oh my I feel so much for you sounds like your going though it. I hate the question of shouldn’t you be having another by now, if it was that easy I would! I really hope you get some good news soon, some people really deserve it 💗

Reply

My son is 7. We’d been trying for almost 4 years for a sibling for him by the time I saw my consultant for the first time. I went through a lot of tests, but everything came back “normal”. As we have a child, IVF wasn’t available on the NHS but the consultant said we could have Clomid. When I questioned how this would help, when there was nothing wrong with my ovulation, he explained how it could prove to up our chances each month. Instead of one egg being released, two or three could be instead. I was sceptical but agreed to give it a go and this is what I still cannot believe: I’m pregnant! After the first round of Clomid, I’m pregnant! 4.5yrs of trying and nothing.

What I wanted to let you know though is I hit rock bottom during those 4.5yrs of trying to conceive. I took it upon myself to hold onto the blame for not being pregnant and became so down. Then, one of the volunteers on here commented on my story and instinctively knew I was holding onto the blame. As I read her words, I realised how much pressure I had put on myself. From that moment on, I made an effort to let go of the blame. It was difficult but it isn’t yours to keep, so you have to let it go. There is only so much we can do to help things along but ultimately, we have no control.

Whether it was the Clomid or my new outlook on the situation that helped, I’ll never know. What I do know is that I was far happier once I started lifting the burden from myself.

Good luck to you. It is so difficult to understand why these things happen/don’t happen but know you are not alone in how you’re feeling.x

2 likes
Reply

Thank you everything you said is so right. I had Clomid too but nothing but hopefully will have another round although I had a terrible time on it. I’m so pleased for you xx

Reply

When you face secondary infertility, there are all sorts of issues that can get you down. While there aren't any easy emotional fixes, there are some ways to get a handle on your feelings.

If your quest for a second pregnancy isn’t panning out, you’ll likely find yourself confronting a slew of emotional issues unique to people coping with secondary infertility. That’s because in addition to feeling disappointed and upset, you may also be feeling shock (“I got pregnant so easily the first time, there’s no way I could have infertility problems!”), guilt (“I already have a child, so I should be happy”), and even isolation (“I can’t connect with the people facing primary infertility or with my friends who have multiple kids!”). So I understand how difficult it can be for you! Take care!

2 likes
Reply

Acknowledge your feelings. When dealing with secondary infertility, it’s very common to feel shock or denial. After all, making one baby might have been a piece of cake for you, so you probably assumed that having a second one would be a cinch, too. Your friends and even your doctor may also downplay your current infertility problems (telling you not to take it so hard or to “just keep trying”) since you had no trouble before. But secondary infertility is more common than you may realize. In fact, according to the National Infertility Association, it affects more than three million Americans. So allow yourself the chance to accept the idea that you may be battling secondary infertility — because once you do, you can tackle the problem head on.

1 like
Reply

While you probably feel incredibly disappointed and sad about your infertility problems, you may feel guilty giving in to those emotions. Parents facing secondary infertility often feel they don’t have the “right” to feel sad about their struggles because they should be grateful for the child they already have. But if you want more children and are having trouble getting pregnant again, you are just as entitled as anyone else to feel depressed or angry. The last thing you need when you’re coping with secondary infertility is to let guilt weigh you down even more.

1 like
Reply

Talk it out. Once you realize you’re entitled to your emotions, find an outlet for them. Talking about your feelings and your struggles can be a huge release and allow you to receive the support you need. If your family or friends don’t understand your sadness (or you find it hard to contain your baby envy around friends with more than one child), seek out people in your same situation. Find a support group for people with secondary infertility in your area.

1 like
Reply

Find quality time for your child. In the midst of your infertility problems, you may feel especially upset about shifting your focus from the child you already have to the child you’re longing to create. You may even feel guilty about your inability to give your little one a sibling or about the sadness you are sure is spilling over into her life. The best thing you can do for your child in this situation is to keep life as normal as possible, and ideally, to find some quality time to be together. Whether it’s a chat about her day before you tuck her into bed or an afternoon romp in the park, those rituals will go a long way toward keeping your tot’s world stable and happy — even if you sometimes feel your world is spinning out of control. (You might find that focusing on your child lets you live in the moment — at least for a little while — and that helps you cope with secondary infertility.) If you’re in a particularly bad place and fear that you may have a hard time handling your true emotions in front of your child (say, your pregnancy test just came up negative for the zillionth time in a row), see if you can arrange to send her to a friend’s house, or enlist your husband or mother-in-law to take over for a bit. Allowing yourself the time to compose yourself can make it much easier to face your little pride and joy with a smile.

1 like
Reply

It can be a perfect chance to get closer with your dh. Remember that your husband is also coping with secondary infertility along with you, and while he may be dealing with it differently, it can be extremely helpful to check in with each other emotionally. Make a point to set aside time to talk with each other about how your infertility problems are affecting each of you — that can help you both work through your emotions. Tired of talking about infertility or channeling all your collective energy into that second pregnancy? Plan a date night — totally unrelated to any baby making duties. Since secondary infertility problems can take a toll on any relationship, date nights are needed now more than ever to keep the love and fun flowing. An added bonus: Since less stress often improves fertility, if you both relax and enjoy yourself as a couple, you may even increase your odds of achieving that second pregnancy.

Reply

Optional fruitlessness alludes to a couple's failure to consider an infant subsequent to having unprotected intercourse for no less than a year, despite the fact that they've had no less than one youngster before, either together or with a past accomplice. Couples who have had a past pregnancy frequently consider themselves having "ordinary" fruitfulness, however, this isn't generally the case. This situation can be especially baffling for couples who experienced no difficulty considering the first run through around. It deteriorates as they watch loved ones easily having second or third children. Couples confronting optional barrenness, for the most part, encounter some special enthusiastic turmoil, for example, disgrace, uneasiness, melancholy, and even blame for needing a moment kid so seriously when there are such huge numbers of couples encountering fruitlessness the first run through around. Regardless of whether you spend a little bit of every day not pondering ovulation or pregnancy, you will do yourself and your family a major support.Both parties need to be made fully aware of their expectations and obligation, and usually, both parties are rather altruistic and well-intended. Hope that helps!

Reply

You may also like...