Let’s talk about… secondary infertility

It’s an issue seldom talked about but all too common for couples looking to complete their family. We chat with fertility nurse Samantha Costa at Eve Health about secondary infertility.

The term ‘secondary infertility’ is not a well-known term. It refers to when a couple has previously had no problems conceiving but now struggles to conceive their next child.

“While it may feel very isolating, it is an all too common situation for many couples,” Ms Costa says.

“One in six couples will have difficulty conceiving and each couple’s fertility journey is different. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.”

Ms Costa says there are many ways to treat secondary infertility.

“The diagnosis does not mean the end of your family dreams. For some couples, simple lifestyle changes may be all that is required. For others, the use of medications to help with ovulation or surgery, or treatment of underlying conditions may work,” she says.

While some couples may need more invasive fertility treatments like IUI (Intra Uterine Insemination) or  IVF to complete their families.

When to see a fertility specialist

“The most important factor in fertility for both men and women is age, particularly in the female partner,” Ms Costa says. “If the female partner is under 35 and has no known gynaecological issues, it is recommended to see a fertility specialist after 12 months of unprotected intercourse that has not resulted in a pregnancy. If the female is over the age of 35, this is shortened to six months.”

She says couples that have known reproductive issues should consider speaking to their GP once they are ready to actively start trying for a baby.

“They may need early referral to a fertility specialist.”

Advice for coping emotionally

Fertility can be a rollercoaster. Couples struggling to fall pregnant again may feel guilt or shame.

“It is important to acknowledge your feelings,” Ms Costa says. “Taking care of yourself and each other, focusing on family life and reframing negative thoughts is also important.”

She says couples might like to also consider how to answer uncomfortable questions from well-meaning friends and family about when or if they are going to have another baby.

Making the journey as stress-free as possible

“It is important for the couple to find a doctor and care team who they feel supported by on their journey to conceiving their next child,” Samantha Costa says.

She says Eve Health offers a multidisciplinary approach to all areas of women’s health.

“This includes the fertility journey for our patients. Our specialists and nurses collaborate with many other allied health and complementary practitioners to ensure a couple’s fertility journey is as stress free as possible and tailored to their individual needs,” she says.

“We assess the fertility and couple picture as a whole, allowing us to be able to provide the right treatments for patients. It is important our couples know this does not mean just IVF, but all fertility treatment options outside of IVF alone.”

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By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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