What is secondary infertility?
Secondary infertility refers to an inability to conceive a baby after having unprotected intercourse for at least a year, even though the couple had one child in the past, either together or with another partner. We often think that infertility mostly affects first-time parents, but this is not true. Challenges can start when a couple is trying to have a second or third baby. Secondary infertility can be extremely devastating because parents often assume that just because they already had a baby, there will be no fertility issues with the next pregnancy. Educating yourself and having the right support network is crucial in heartbreaking times. Here are some tips on how to deal with the stress, anger, and sadness of infertility.
Accept your emotions
Anger, stress, depression, and jealousy are widespread emotions among parents struggling with infertility. These feelings can be hard not only on you and your partner individually but also on your relationship.
Sometimes jealousy of your friend who had just had their second or third child can be overwhelming. These emotions are reasonable, mainly because the couples who deal with secondary infertility get less social support than those dealing with primary infertility. Too often, the pain of secondary infertility is minimized, and couples are often told that they should be grateful for the child that they already have. Communicating with a person of trust or a medical professional can be beneficial, especially if they are prepared to give you full emotional support. Also, sharing your thoughts and feelings with your partner is a crucial step. That way, you can get through the struggle together.
If you are sure that you are ready to have another child after the diagnosis of secondary infertility, adopting a baby is another great way to achieve your parenting potential. You can help another child to have a life filled with joy and ambition.
Take a deep look at your lifestyle
What has changed in your life after having your first baby? Are you taking care of your diet and exercising? Are you smoking or drinking too much coffee? Studies have shown that too much caffeine can have a profound effect on fertility. Sleep can also affect your fertility if you are not getting enough sleep, which is about 6 to 8 hours each night. If your sleep quality is poor, meaning too many interruptions in your sleep, it can mess with your hormones – and possibly your fertility.
But, it is not just your poor lifestyle and habits that may lead to infertility; it’s your partner’s too. For example, is he drinking a lot of beer lately? That can be affecting his sperm quality. What about your medications? Some medicines can interfere with your conception. Talk to your doctor and consider switching to more conception-friendly medication. Have you developed any chronic health problems since your first baby was born? Getting your chronic condition under control may also help you get pregnant. Take a look at your weight. If you had any drastic weight loss or gain, it can have an impact on your ability to get pregnant.
Seek medical assistance
There are many reasons why you definitely should seek professional support after failing to conceive. If you are under 35 it is normal to wait twelve months for pregnancy. After a year, if you have not managed to conceive, you should talk to your health practitioner and get a referral for a fertility specialist. If you are older than 35, you should seek medical help after six months, or even as early as three months into your journey. On the other hand, you are older than 40, you may want to check with your doctor before even trying to stay pregnant. Also, if your partner is over 40, he should get a check-up too, because the man’s age can; and does in 30 to 40 percent of the cases; affect the quality of his sperm.
Once you have an appointment with a fertility specialist, you will follow the same plan as if you were dealing with primary infertility.
Coping with the emotions of infertility can be hard. But with the support from your family, you can deal with any situation. Do not let your grief and depression consume you and lead you away from your partner and child. They need emotional support, as well. Focus on being a good mom and nurture your relationships with your family members.
Bio: Nemanja Marinkoff is editor-in-chief at BornCute and WalkJogRun. He’s a marketing expert, and he’s interested in all things related to basketball. He also loves marzipan, although his wife hates it. You can find him on Twitter. Photo credit: Unsplash