If I’ve Conceived Naturally Once, Why Am I Struggling Now?

Posted on 21 October 2019

Secondary infertility is defined as struggling to conceive now, when you have conceived before. It’s more common than you may think. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

It takes two…

A lot of us assume secondary infertility is due to a woman getting older. There are many cases where this is true. As we age, our oocytes (eggs) become fatigued and more readily make critical mistakes at import stages of baby making.

It’s under recognized that while men don’t have such a loudly ticking biological clock, they certainly have one. Men too experience a greater burden of infertility as they age. It’s possible that part of your concern is related to the health of your partner and his sperm.

Hormone problems…

It’s possible that your hormones are out of balance. Irregular periods are a sign of dysfunctional ovulation. Thyroid problems are very common. Pituitary imbalances can affect fertility. You or your partner may have a reversible hormonal condition affecting your chance of conception that was not there before.

Fallopian tubes and endometriosis

Fallopian tubes reversible blockage is real. This can be caused but mucous and skin cell build up or scarring after previous infection, ectopic pregnancy or endometriosis. Image guided flushing or key hole (laparoscopic surgery) can be used to diagnose and treat this issue.

Nutrition and antioxidants….

Dietary changes to ensure all the essential baby making building blocks and protective factors are available to your body can make a difference, as can modulating your weight/BMI into the healthy range.

Womb factors….

As we age, our bodies change. Problems like fibroids or adenomyosis occur more frequently over 35 years. These problems may be present now where they were not present before.

And the eggs….

Women make all the eggs we will have for our reproductive lifetime before birth. As we age, our egg stores deplete and the quality of our eggs deteriorate. Eventually for all women, it becomes the exceptional not the average egg that is capable of making a healthy baby. Every woman reaches a stage where this happens but for some it occurs earlier than for others.

So what’s the good news?…

Having successfully conceived in the past is a big positive – it’s a good thing. Most couples suffering secondary infertility can be helped to have another baby. It may be a matter of identifying and targeting relatively minor concerns.  For others more serious help may be needed. The effectiveness of fertility treatment can be time sensitive. Technologies like IVF unfortunately become less effective as we age. Recognizing serious issues and responding to them promptly is ideal.

Where to now?…

If you’re struggling to conceive and would really love to have another baby, we’re here to help. Reach out by making an appointment as a couple for a thorough fertility health check at Women’s Health Melbourne.

We also have a lot of information on our website covering many aspects of fertility.


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