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Four Signs of Secondary Infertility

This guest post is from the nurses at Laurel Fertility Care, a local fertility practice with offices in Mill Valley, San Francisco, and Modesto. Visit them online at

As a parent with one or more children, it’s hard to imagine not being able to conceive again. However, secondary infertility is a heartache experienced by many parents. “Often parents have a difficult time knowing whether the challenge for growing their family is just a fluke or a problem,” states Dr. Collin B. Smikle of Laurel Fertility Care, “many say if it happened before, it will happen again and sometimes parents wait too long to find out if there is a problem and their chances of conceiving become even less likely.”

Similar to infertility, there are a few key signs that may signal a higher chance of secondary infertility. These signals include:

  1. Unsuccessful conceiving after trying over six to twelve months: If you have been trying to get pregnant longer than the amount of time it took with previous pregnancies, it’s time to talk to your doctor or a reproductive specialist. Your OB/GYN may be able to give some insight into what’s happening. However, it’s best to visit a reproductive endocrinologist if you have any concerns, especially if the female is over 35.
  2. Irregular cycles or changes in ovulation: If you aren't getting your period regularly, you need to find out the cause. If your ovaries are functioning normally, there are ways to regulate it. Medications like Clomid and Femara are often used to correct irregular ovulation and induce ovulation.
  3. Female partner is over 35: The quality and quantity of eggs quickly gradually decline over time. After age 35 and especially after age 40, there is a much larger decrease in both. However treatments offered today provide parents with many options to grow their families.
  4. Partners have experienced several miscarriages: If you’re experiencing recurrent pregnancy loss, there a few possible reasons for this. Visiting a reproductive health specialist to determine the cause of the miscarriages may shed light onto what treatment option it best for you.

Some of the causes for secondary infertility can include:

  • Untreated infections from previous births
  • Male infertility
  • Hidden scars
  • Hormonal shifts
  • Timing
  • Stress
  • Age
  • Overweight/underweight
  • Illnesses, like diabetes, thyroid problems, cancer or hypertension

For more information on secondary infertility, visit