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Secondary infertility, the inability to conceive again

Not all women or men can conceive again naturally despite having previously had a child, a condition known as secondary infertility.

When a woman has one or more children naturally and without any kind of complications, one tends to think that she will have no problem in the case of wanting to get pregnant again. However, this does not always happen, as secondary infertility could occur.

In this case, infertility takes place or begins to manifest itself over time.

Secondary infertility in women

The doctor Elena Labarta, gynecologist at the IVI (Valencian Institute of Infertility)explains that female secondary infertility is usually associated mainly with agesince the passage of time directly and sharply affects the reproductive potential of the woman

But this is not the only factor that can influence it, there are others that can also be present:

  • endometriosis.
  • Hormonal imbalances.
  • Decrease in the quality and quantity of eggsfrom the age of 35.
  • Increase in possible chromosomal alterations in embryosfrom the age of 38.

“If, in addition, in some cases, age is combined with one of the previously mentioned pathologies, we have a more complex case,” points out Dr. Labarta.

What about men?

In the case of men, the gynecologist points out two causes as possible triggers in the loss or deterioration of semen quality, which has an impact on the chances of procreating.

  • Changes in lifestyle or health.
  • Appearance of some severe disease or pathology.

“For these reasons, it is essential that people know and are aware of all these factors when doing family planning”, he points out.

In this way, the age plays a crucial rolel, since “waiting to have children presenting an age over 30 may imply that they gradually appear complications in the process and the need to go to reproductive medicine to achieve a pregnancy after several failed attempts by natural methods”, explains the specialist.

Secondary infertility assisted reproduction
EFE/ Welcome Velasco

Oocyte vitrification, an alternative

As a possible alternative, gynecologists recommend the option of vitrify the oocytesa choice that, in the case of women, offers the possibility of deciding without the pressure of time.

Oocyte vitrification mainly allows the woman’s reproductive capacity to be postponed for as long as she wants, according to the IVI.

Thus, when the woman intends to become pregnant, she will be able to use her previously vitrified eggs, which will keep intact the characteristics they had when they were preserved.

“In other words, if a woman vitrifies her eggs at the age of 30, and ten later, at the age of 40, intends to become pregnant with them, her eggs will have the same quality as they had when they were vitrified”, explains the gynecologist .

When to start looking for help?

Regarding the possible doubts that arise about when to go to a specialist in reproductive medicine, the expert recommends consulting if the woman is under 35 years old, after a year of regular sexual intercourse without achieving pregnancy.

And, in the case of women of more advanced ages, generally older than 35 years, he advises to find out after six months of sexual intercourse without pregnancy.

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