5 Things You Need to Know About: Secondary Infertility

3. There really is a biological clock. Age is a key factor when it comes to fertility. You?re older now than the first time around. ?It depends on how secondary the secondary [pregnancy] is,? says Dr. Perloe. As you age, your reserve of healthy eggs is reduced. By age 40, 95 percent of the eggs you release are abnormal. ?So until you get the right one, it?s going to take awhile.? On average, it will take 8 to 10 months for half of healthy 40-year-old women to get pregnant.

4. Waiting can be a mistake. Even if you didn?t experience problems before, Dr. Perloe advises getting evaluated by a reproductive endocrinologist after a year of trying, or six months if you?re over 35. If you or your partner experienced obvious physical changes since your last pregnancy, like irregular periods or testicular trauma, call your doctor for an evaluation now.

5. Get support?even if your friends aren?t sympathetic. The difference between primary and secondary infertility, says Dr. Perloe, is you may not find as much empathy and emotional support as women who have yet to successfully conceive at all. Julia Indichova, author of Inconceivable and The Fertile Female, can identify. She got pregnant at 40 on her first try. ?I thought, ?Oh, I can do this again.?? But by 42, she was dealing with secondary infertility.

?I have a vivid memory of sitting in the office of this reproductive endocrinologist and she was looking at my records saying, ?We?ve never had a case of anyone with your test results get pregnant. You know you are really lucky. You should be grateful for what you have,?" Julia recalls. "I said, ?I am; I?m really grateful.? I felt like I was not understood or almost chastised for not being grateful enough for my child.? She even had a dream that she had a cancerous tumor in her uterus and that it was her punishment for wanting a second child.

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