Planning a second child can be a thrilling experience for you and your spouse. You feel physically and emotionally prepared this time around, having had prior experience caring for a new born. You might believe that getting pregnant with your second child will be as simple as your first, but that is not always the case.
Millions of people have secondary infertility. Secondary infertility is a term used by fertility experts to describe when a woman has problem conceiving after a previous successful natural conception and birth. This type of infertility is widespread, especially among women who wait until their late 30s or early 40s to conceive second time.
Is it more challenging to conceive the second time?
When it comes to fertility, previous success is no indicator of future success. It can come as a shock that you do not always have control over your fertility. The loss in fertility between your first and wishes for second pregnancy can be due to several factors. Many of the factors that cause primary infertility also induce secondary infertility.
Following are some of the most common reasons for your inability to conceive again.
Because a woman's fertility drops with age, it can be more difficult to conceive a second baby than during the first. Hormonal changes and the risk of certain diseases increase as age advances and both can affect fertility.
We lose eggs as we age; women in their mid-to-late-30s and older are more likely to have secondary infertility.
Low sperm count in males:
You are probably aware that sperm quantity and quality can be affected by age, genetic issues, environmental factors, fitness, and medicines. However, several routine habits can also reduce sperm production. They are as follows:
- Using testosterone boosters
- Testes being exposed to heat
The testes are on the outside of the body for a purpose. Sperm counts can be affected if they are too warm, caused by tight clothes (like biker shorts) or usage of electronic gadgets.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS):
It is a hormonal disorder or imbalance that disrupts ovulation. This causes your periods to become irregular or non-existent. Infertility can be caused by various factors, including PCOS, past operations, and infections.
Being obese or overweight:
Being overweight might make it difficult to conceive in men and women. Weight gain in women can lead to insulin resistance and increased testosterone levels, thus preventing conception.
Excess weight in men can raise estrogen levels, resulting in reduced sperm counts.
Excessive alcohol consumption might make it difficult to conceive in men and women.
Women who drink more than 2 drinks in a day or more than 7 drinks in a week will take longer to conceive and have reduced chances of having a healthy baby.
Less alcohol consumption can also help men who are trying for a baby. Moderate to high intake can hamper the hormones and sperm production.
While we know that smoking is bad for health, you may not be aware that it can also harm your fertility. Smoking can harm eggs and create ovulation issues. Smoking increases the risk of infertility in women.
Do not despair if you are in your mid-30s and are still waiting for a second child. Patience is admirable, but do not wait too long to seek assistance
With the ongoing advancement in reproductive techniques, and with the help of a few lifestyle changes or fertility drugs , fertility experts can help you conceive again.
(Dr Hrishikesh Pai, Consultant Gynaecologist & Infertility Specialist, Lilavati Hospital, Mumbai, Fortis Hospital In Chandigarh & New Delhi)
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