By Angela Le
We often think of infertility as an issue for first-time parents, but for some, the fertility challenges don't begin until they're trying for their second (or third or fourth) time around. Secondary infertility -- the inability to become pregnant, or carry to term, after giving birth to one or more children -- can be just as devastating for those in its wake, especially because most parents assume if they got pregnant once, they can certainly do it again.
But, not every pregnancy is the same, and often there can be a big difference between them in terms of the process and the experience as a whole. In fact, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, over 3 million couples in the United States face secondary infertility.
The challenges of getting pregnant, especially if you were able to have a child before, can be extremely confusing, heartbreaking, isolating and painful. But as these statistics prove, it's a struggle that many are facing, and one that you should not feel ashamed of. Educating yourself and establishing the right support network can make all the difference. Here are 5 tips on how to cope with secondary infertility.
- Don't be afraid to seek medical assistance. There are many different reasons parents experience secondary infertility, but age often plays an important role. If you are under 35 and have been trying to conceive for a year, you can and should seek medical assistance. Women over 35 should ask for help if they have been trying for six months. A specialist like a reproductive endocrinologist can help pinpoint risk factors like hormone levels, fallopian tube damages, endometriosis, fibroids, ovarian conditions and ovulation disorders.
It can be beneficial to speak to someone whom you feel connected to. Communicating pain eases the emotional burden of needing to contain it all. Seeking out a therapist or a support group can give you a broader outlook and some useful tools to deal with these difficult emotions.
This piece was originally published by Angela Le on Well Rounded NY. Angela Le is a highly respected fertility expert and acupuncturist. She collaborates with both patients and physicians to create the best possible conditions for conception. Founder of Fifth Avenue Fertility Wellness, Angela has been exclusively focused on reproductive health for over a decade. A thought leader in the women's health movement, Angela is committed to changing the world by enhancing fertility - one family at a time.
Please share your opinion below! For more original content, check out Well Rounded NY.
Follow Well Rounded NY on Twitter