Why Are We Having Difficulties Getting Pregnant With Another Child?


1 What Is The Problem?

When couples conceive their first child easily, they assume that conceiving other children will be just as easy. But, what happens when it’s not? Having trouble conceiving a child after you already have given birth is known as secondary infertility.


It’s not talked about as much as primary infertility, but it is very common.  Experts think that as many as 11 percent of all American couples suffer with some degree of secondary infertility. So, what causes it?

2 What Causes Secondary Infertility?

There are many different things that can contribute to secondary infertility. Most experts suspect that couples who suffer from secondary infertility have always had some degree of fertility problems that were not obvious before.  Sometimes couples “get lucky” when conceiving, and get pregnant with their first child rather easily.


However, by the time they are ready to conceive again, their fertility issues might not be able to be ignored anymore. Sometimes, the time frame between the first child and the couple being ready to conceive again is too long. The mother might not have enough eggs left to conceive again, or her remaining eggs might not be viable enough to use.

3 Silent Suffering

The hard thing about secondary infertility is that many couples feel that they have to suffer in silence. Since they have already successfully conceived one or more children, couples might not even always know that they have secondary infertility. They might just think that they need to keep trying, not realizing that there is a problem.


Also, sometimes, couples find that secondary infertility blindsides them, taking them by surprise. Couples who have a child already think their fertility is fine and that there is nothing to worry about, but then they are surprised by the difficulties they have getting pregnant.

Some experts even think that it might be harder for couples experiencing secondary infertility, since they already “know what they are missing” and may have already planned their lives around having a sibling for their child or children.


4 What To Do If You Have Secondary Infertility

If you think that you might be suffering from secondary infertility, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor to see what you can do. Don’t wait too long to ask for help, the sooner the better. Also, make sure to join a secondary infertility support group, so that you can find help and support from other parents who are in the same position.


Keep in mind, however, that many couples who experience secondary infertility go onto have another healthy pregnancy later on. Also, know that experiencing grief and having a hard time dealing with secondary infertility is incredibly common.

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Ms. Ledoux began her career as an ObGyn nurse practitioner prior to becoming a practicing midwife in the Santa Cruz community. Working together with ObGyn physicians in her own practice, she has over 20 years experience in women's health, pregnancy and childbirth.

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