Why Can’t I Get Pregnant Again?


If you’ve already experienced the birth of your first child, or perhaps even two children, it’s natural to assume that getting pregnant again should be a breeze, especially if you were quick to conceive with the other(s).

But that’s not always the case. There’s solid proof that more couples experience what’s become known as “secondary infertility” than primary infertility. As a result, women who believe they’ll get pregnant right away when it’s time for number two are frustrated when conception isn’t happening in accordance with their optimal timetable. So much for that plan for your kids to be exactly two years apart, right?

Fact is there are any number of reasons for you to have difficulty getting pregnant again. Some are more complicated than others and might require some medical intervention.

● You’re now over 35 – Statistics show that women are now waiting longer to have their first (and subsequent) children. It’s not unusual for 35-year-olds to be pregnant for the first time whereas, just a few decades ago, women were an average of 25-30 years-old when giving birth to their first child. The age was even lower back in the mid to late 20th century. Remember, eggs are lost as a woman ages, so the chance of that egg-sperm connection lessens significantly after 35. Hormonal changes can also impact fertility when we get older. If you’re over 35 and have been trying for your second child for more than 6 months, don’t hesitate to contact a fertility specialist for some input and possible testing.

● You’re overweight – Obesity is a huge problem in the US these days and many women carry around extra weight after their first pregnancy, either because they never lost that initial baby weight or because their lifestyle has changed and exercise and healthy eating are no longer a priority. But obesity contributes to insulin resistance and elevates a woman’s testosterone levels, which can negatively impact ovulation. Obesity in men can also lead to a lower sperm count. So, shedding those extra pounds (we know it’s hard!) would certainly be to your advantage as you try to get pregnant again.

● Your alcohol consumption is high – More than one drink per day can seriously elongate the length of time it takes to conceive. Heavy drinkers also have a higher chance of having a baby with certain health problems. So, lay off or cut back on alcohol consumption if you’re having trouble getting pregnant and you may see a positive result.

● You’ve developed polycystic ovary syndrome (POS) – POS, a hormonal imbalance that can stop ovulation, is one of the most common causes of both secondary and primary infertility. Even if you didn’t have a problem with it the first time around, it may have developed after the first pregnancy. If your periods have been irregular (or even absent), POS might be the cause. Check with a fertility specialist, who can diagnose this fairly easily.

● You’ve got other uterine or fallopian tube issues – While POS is often the culprit in infertility, the female might also have blocked fallopian tubes, uterine structural problems, or endometriosis. Some of these disorders – like endometriosis – will already be causing pain and menstrual problems so will be easy to detect, but others will require further testing.

● Your male partner has a low sperm count – About a quarter of all couples who have issues with secondary infertility discover that it’s due to the male’s low sperm count. This is often harder to detect as there are no symptoms, so a semen analysis is essential in discovering this problem. Remember, infertility is not always a female problem!

In some cases, couples won’t discover the cause of their secondary infertility and may eventually get pregnant again. Remember, not everyone gets pregnant within 12 months of trying. You might be in that 10 to 15 percent of women who will simply take longer to conceive.

However, if you believe you’ve tried your best and think there might be more to your infertility, visit us for an initial consultation, which will include a review of your medical history and the sharing of other pertinent information. We’ll help you decide how to proceed, including recommending tests that may shed light on your inability to get pregnant again. Call us at (732) 339-9300.

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