Struggling to have a second child is not often seen as a great source of worry, but it’s more common than you may think, as Dr Ranj Singh explains
Secondary infertility is perhaps not as widely discussed as it should be. It’s a commonly held assumption that if you have already had a child, you must be able to have another one. This sadly isn’t always the case.
According to new research, secondary infertility – difficulty getting pregnant having previously had a child – is on the rise, and it’s important that we attempt to understand it better as a society.
The issue is often dismissed because people may feel that one child is better than none, assuming that secondary infertility isn’t as distressing as primary infertility. But it’s important to understand that secondary infertility can come with its own hidden distress for many potential mothers and fathers.
The causes of secondary fertility problems can be the same as primary, such as PCOS, endometriosis and low sperm count. However, they may also arise when older women trying to have another child find that fertility treatments are not as readily available, or are less likely to work, but still remain expensive. It’s been suggested that some fertility clinics fail to explain the decreasing chances of successful treatment with age.
Couples experiencing secondary infertility can look for support from charities and from healthcare professionals who are becoming more aware of the issues it presents and can offer guidance about what to do.
Voice: Dr Ranj Singh