Secondary Infertility

Hi, I am writing to try and find more out about secondary infertility. I had my 1st DS Dec13. He was conceived first month of trying. Last Dec just after his 2nd birthday we decided to start trying for another baby. Six months down the line and no joy. I have recently come across the concept of secondary infertility. There is not a lot of information out there. I am just wondering if anyone has been through this and if so what would the advice be - should I go the see my go? I seem to have a reasonably regular cycle but am struggling to cope with the heartache every month when I get my period.

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  • Hello becci81, sorry to hear about your heartache with secondary infertility. I've been there too. My daughter was also born in dec13 but within 3 months of trying. We then started trying again after she turned 1. I fell pregnant within 3 months but then sadly found out I'd miscarried at the scan. After this, it took us over a year, by which time I'd turned 36 so we went to the GP. We started having all the investigations they do. I finally fell pregnant naturally when we gave up, a year after the miscarriage. I'm now 20 weeks so there is hope. I don't know how old you are but its worth visiting your GP. They will give you advice on the next steps. Unfortunately, stress is your worst enemy when trying to conceive but I know how hard it is to relax when you so desperately want your second child. Your body has done it before so your chances are good xxx

  • Hi thanks for the reply. I am 34(will be 35 at the end of Sept). Strangely my periods seem more regular since my pregnancy (between 28 and 34days) they we regularly over 35 days when I was younger! My DH and I have talked about going to the docs but I just fear I will be told to go away and keep trying. My biggest upset at the moment seems to be that I am surrounded by pregnant women ( two at work 1 of my DS friends mum plus went to a birthday party yesterday. 2 pregnant, 2 with small babies) We will keep trying - not sure I will ever be able to give up. I feel relaxed when we are trying it is the week of waiting and then getting my period that drives me insane at the moment.

  • The GP may well tell you just to keep trying, especially since you've got your age on your side but they may also start some investigations, just so you feel like you're taking some some of control. My periods became very regular after my miscarriage so it felt so strange that nothing was happening. The truth is that there's only a small chance of getting pregnant every month so it's usually over the space of one year (6 months if aged over 35 years) that the doctors start to 'worry'. It's terribly difficult seeing other pregnant ladies. I know your pain. You never know how long it took them to conceive or what their journey was as no one really talks about it. But hang in there, it will happen for you xxx

  • Thank you xx

  • Sorry to hear it's not working out. For us our first was also conceived during the first month, but the second took a bit longer ~6 months. I was also feeling very disappointed each month, and after around 3 months I started using an ovulation test each month, and we made sure to try on the right days. I think they are expensive, but for us it was worth it. Maybe you are already using an ovulation test, but if not maybe it could help? For me, even though my periods were regular, my ovulation was not exactly the days I was calculating it would happen. Hope this helps.

  • Hi Thanks for you reply. We have been using opk tests for the last few months and we have had positive results but I am just aware that a positive result still doesn't mean I have O.

    I recently heard about secondary infertility and I think it just freaked me out a bit. I just thought we were timing things badly but to think I could have a real issue is quite stressful. My friends all seem to have had second children easier than the first!

  • Hi Becci81, it sounds like you are having a tough time. I am going to hopefully try and give you a mix of anecdotal and evidence-based advice! I have been pregnant three times, and all took a minimum of 6/7 months to conceive, my middle child took 14/15 months. I was definitely more stressed at that time for work reasons. I started later in life and had first child at 35 years old. It does, of course, get harder to conceive as you get older because egg/sperm quality declines, and also if you already have one child then often as a couple you are more tired etc. But time is on your side!

    Don't forget the average time to conception is 6 months, so anything before that is a bonus and anything 'around' that is still close to the average. Around half of my antenatal group of 8 friends had quick pregnancies the first time and took a long time (over a year) to conceive the second, and I would say at least half of us had at least one miscarriage before successfully having a second child. This stuff happens, unfortunately, and falling pregnant is not something that can be influenced/controlled as per other aspects of life, which can be incredibly frustrating. On the other hand, I know people who struggled many years for the first one and fell pregnant easily with the next ones. The point is: there are all sorts of stories out there about how long it takes to get pregnant, don't give up hope. If you have already had one successful pregnancy the chances are good. There is some general NHS advice about infertility here. Out of every 100 couples, 84 will conceive within a year, and 93 within 3 years. The stats are in your favour!:

    nhs.uk/Conditions/Infertili...

    In terms of getting pregnant, I never found the conception sticks useful. Somehow, they never seemed to quite work for me (I'd have high fertility but no "peak" or whatever!) and I think I relied too much on them to have intercourse at the 'right' time. I suspect my ovulation patterns are slightly odd based on my pregnancy dates. Sometimes it's helpful to go back to basics and just try to have sex three times a week (ha), which gives you the best chance of having sperm waiting for an egg at all times of the month. And, at the risk of stating the obvious - cut down on caffeine and alcohol - every little helps!

    Now, I definitely am not taking the "consider yourself lucky" line, because I realise that can be quite hurtful when trying for child and feeling upset about it (and not at all "lucky"!). However, in my own experience when I was trying for my second child I did spend time thinking about what joy and delight I took from my first child. It helped me to appreciate I had experienced something (pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood) that some people never get to experience at all, for one reason or another. I suppose the point is, we can spend some time reflecting on the things that make us happy (the child we have and love) and focussing on that, and it's never a bad thing to spend some time remembering that although life can be sad it is often full of lots of good and happy things too. Good luck!

  • Thank you for your reply. Hearing others stories does help. We have not been ruled by opk tests but it has reassured me that things at least seem to be ok.

    We will just keep trying! Xxx

  • Hi, it took us just over a year to get pregnant. With our first (and probably only, as I'm finding it hard working and being a mummy, plus I'm too tired for sex now! Haha.) And I got pregnant two days after my 'fertile' days. I know as it was the only day we'd tried as my boyfriend was working a lot at the time. As the lovely ladies have said you can't rush it. I booked a holiday to try and cheer myself up when we'd been trying 8 months, 4 months later when we went away I was 13 weeks pregnant. 😊

    Enjoy time with your DS, I'm sure it will happen when you least expect it to. Xx

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