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Secondary infertility

(297 Posts)
YorkshireTeaDrinker Fri 19-Apr-13 13:46:50

Am in cycle 19 TTC #2. We have a beautiful DD who took a while to conceive (managed on cycle 16, got my BFP the day before our referral appointment for fertility treatment!) so I expected it to take a while to get a second. However, time is ticking by (am 37) and I really do want DD to have a sibling, so I have been to the GP. First set of investigations have been done and and DH and I have an appointment with the GP this afternoon to get test results and hopefully a referral.

I am feeling a strange combination of emotions. I feel a bit guilty for wanting another child so much when I already have a wonderful DD. I am worried about what treatment may be necessary, how we can pay for it, even if it would be appropriate to fund trying to conceive another child when we could spend those resources on giving the child we already have the best possible start in life.

I even feel a tiny bit guilty for even posting this here, as I already have a child and should be grateful for what I have (and I am, very much). But I can't help longing for another, I get so envious of friends who have / are going on to have second children (and in some cases contemplating a third). I am a mummy, I no longer have to deal with the awful feeling of wondering if I will ever know the joy of parenthood, but every month I have the same disappointment and sense of failure when AF arrives, coupled with the anxiety that every month lost makes the potential age gap bigger.

So please tell me your good news about secondary infertility. Did you get your BFP eventually? Or did you manage to come to terms with not having another and make the most of your smaller than planned family? And if you did go down the path of intervention, what did it involve? Was it successful? Do you have any regrets?

worriedmum100 Sat 20-Apr-13 07:57:06

No good news stories but didn't want to read and run.

I am in exactly the same position and could have written your post as have exactly same feelings. I am on cycle 12 of ttc dc2. I'm ovulating, dp is fine. We conceived ds (who is nearly 2)quickly so I wasn't expecting this at all. I'm.booked in for an hsg to check tubes next month. Its possible my emcs did some damage.

Anyway, just wanted to say you're not alone.

YorkshireTeaDrinker Sat 20-Apr-13 15:58:04

Thanks worriedmum. Test results show that we are apparently ok. DH fine, be ovulating ok, but I am also concerned that EMCS ay have caused damage. We are being referred to fertility clinic and hopefully next step for me will be HSG. I'm not sure how far we'll go down the route of self funded treatment, but I want to at east try and find out what is causing the problem.

resipsa Sat 20-Apr-13 20:29:05

I'm with you too. DD is 26 months. Fell pregnant again (after 5 months) in Jan 12 when DD was just 1. Ecstatic but ended in m/c at 10 weeks . Had ERCP. Nothing since. Feel guilty like you describe but also so depressed as all DD's friends mums are either already mums to 2 or expecting soon. Had tests; no reason for problem save my age (41 when we started). So, have bitten the bullet and started IVF cycle yesterday. Terrified about what I will feel if it fails (as odds predict) but compelled to try. Wishing you both luck.

DeMaz Sat 20-Apr-13 21:25:13

Hi there,

I'm also going through secondary infertility. I'm 35 and my little girl is 2. I conceived her in my first month of TTC and i thought the second one would be quite quick too. However, fourteen months down the line and we're still trying.
Whether its primary infertility or secondary infertility that a person goes through, your desire to have a child NEVER goes away and the heartbreak is equal.
I've had all my blood tests done and they came back fine. Hubby had a sperm analysis and that was ok. Now I'm going for my HSG next Wednesday (what joy!). Not thrilled by it but I am hoping I can get some answers.


teaandchocolate Mon 22-Apr-13 13:51:31

Just wanted to say that I'm also struggling with not being able to have a second DC. We've been trying since January 2012 and in that time have had 2 mc but now I can't seem to get pregnant. I feel like time is ticking away and DD is 3 soon (on the anniversary of my last mc) but I'm still not pregnant. It's so frustrating and there are so many mixed feelings. I can't do lots of exciting things to take my mind off ttc as I have my DD who needs me and most of the people I see are 'baby friends' so already have their 2nds. I feel guilty moaning on here as I know how lucky I am to have DD but I desperately want a sibling for her.

I know of a few people who had these issues and all went on to have more children. I feel hopeful but I do worry about the age gap and I feel particularly frustrated as I have the due dates of the mc in my mind

Sending my support to you all. It's harder than I thought it would be.

omama Mon 22-Apr-13 19:29:58

Agree. Who'd have thought this baby making lark would be so tough.

We are also struggling with ttc #2. I'm 33 & ds is 2.8. We conceived him on 4th cycle so was expecting similar this time around. We're now on cycle 14 of trying & absolutely nothing so far.

Its such a rollercoaster of emotions. I feel like i shouldn't complain as i've already got ds (who i love with all my heart & am so grateful for) & there are so many out there who are in a worse position than me. But its not my choice to just have one, I have this overwhelming longing for another child, & for ds to have a sibling. I I feel envious of all my friends who already have dc2 & find each new announcement hard. And as time goes by i worry that the age gap is getting too big, and the further away we get from the baby stage, the more i worry how we'll cope with going back to it again (though i'd do it in a heartbeat).

I've had bloods done & got an abnormal progesterone result, currently awaiting results of dh's SA then gp is going to refer us to fertility clinic.

I am also worried about what treatments may be required & what the costs will be, & finally the long term impact on mine/dh's relationship.

When we initially discussed it we agreed we'd find out what (if anything) was the problem, if its a medical issue that can be treated we'd treat it, but if it came to IVF/IUI we'd stop. Dh seems more accepting of that but I'm not really sure i'd be ready to accept one is my lot without trying.

Not sure what the future will hold but here to offer support to everyone going through the same.

Idbeloveandsweetness Mon 22-Apr-13 19:47:29

We conceived ds on the first cycle.
We've now been trying for 24 cycles for dc2.
Everything with me has come back normal but dh has had two terrible sa results. The first one was worse than the second but both pretty bad. It looks like we will need icsi to conceive. I can't believe it has come to this to be honest. I can't understand how we conceived first time round. Am majorly depressed.

YorkshireTeaDrinker Mon 22-Apr-13 21:56:20

Thank you all for your responses. It is helpful to know that I am not alone. resipsa good luck with the IVF. I hope you don't mind me asking, but how did you get to your decision to proceed with IVF? I feel a particular challenge about whether I ought to fund treatment or not, or whether that would in effect, be taking funds away that could be spent on our DD.

omama I totally agree with what you say about "I'm not really sure i'd be ready to accept one is my lot without trying." I guess I am starting by wanting to find out what the problem is and see if there is anything that can be done to fix it. But I'm not sure i could stop with no attempt at all to treat. I am currently saving like mad to try and get myself an IUI fund. I have no idea if IUI would be an appropriate treatment for us at this stage, but it is a cost that I can actually meet, where as IVF requires major financial sacrifice.

Idbelove so sorry to hear your DH's poor SA results. I can imagine its difficult to understand when you have already conceived once. Have the clinic given any indication of whether there's anything your DH can do to improve his SA? Any explanation for the apparent sudden deterioration?

Given the huge costs of fertility treatments that have to be self funded second time around, has anyone considered / tried alternative / complementary therapies? I am contemplating reflexology, and have been cutting back caffeine, alcohol and increasing exercise. All good for me anyway, and I feel like I'm taking some semblance of control back by doing as much as I can to boost my fertility by improving my general health.

teaandchocolate Tue 23-Apr-13 08:57:25

It is comforting to know that there are others out there going through the same things as its pretty lonely and not really discussed. I have also started to dread social events as I know at least one person will ask me when I'm going to have another one.

YorkshireTea (love that name btw - I am obssssed with Yorkshire tea!!) - I am trying lots of alternative therapies at the moment. Have had acupuncture on and off for years as I had a mc before dd. I have pcos and find it helpful for regulating my hormones. It's also good for helping deal with stress and related problems like tension headaches. My acupuncturist also does hypnotherapy although cant say I'm great at going with that as I naturally think too much all the time! I've also recently started reflexology. Not sure I believe in it as much as acupuncture but its definitely much nicer (as no needles!) and very relaxing. I just like to feel like I'm doing things. I also take loads of vitamins - Marilyn Glenvilles multi vitamin, high dose vit C & D and omega 3 (evening primrose at the moment to help my cycle). I've cut back on caffeine but struggle with not having tea. I also tried not drinking at all but I enjoy a glass if wine especially when AF turns up! I think I need to do more exercise so plan on getting more fresh air but am a bit lazy!!!

I am kind of throwing everything at this in the hope that something will work. I worry about stupid things like using my mobile phone & colouring my hair and whether any of this affects fertility but I guess you have to live your life and be happy too. I just don't know how people keep going with this for years, its all consuming.

uggmum Tue 23-Apr-13 09:08:22

I am in a similar position. I have 2 dc (which I know I am lucky to have). But really wanted to have a 3rd to complete my family.

I can't even tell you the amount of cycles as I've lost count after over 4 years.

I have had 12 months of clomid, a lap and dye. 1 mmc and an erpc and an ectopic.

I am 42 and feel that I am stuck in limbo and feel trapped by it all now. Part of me wants to give up but I just can't admit defeat

Sunnydaisy Tue 23-Apr-13 14:11:37


I'm in exactly the same situation and experiencing all of the mixed emotions too.

Our ds has just turned 2.5 and we've been trying for a sibling for around 16 months now. Ds was conceived first month and now I appreciate just how lucky we were.

We have had all the tests done and apart from a slightly reduced amh reading, although not alarmingly low, there is no real reason why it's not happening. Dh's initial results weren't great but he's tried really hard with his diet, exercise and no alcohol which made a massive difference - definitely worth trying if sa results not good.

We've just tried an iui cycle and although I don't know for sure that it wasn't successful, I suspect it wasn't - usual cramps and mood swings aplenty! For anyone thinking of trying iui, it honestly wasn't too bad. The scans take a bit of time but other than that, it's ok - even the injections!!

If we're not successful, I'm not sure what we'll do. Part of me thinks that we should just be grateful for our ds and give him everything but then I feel so sad that he'll never have a brother or sister.

I'm really struggling to come to terms with secondary infertility and it's nice to be able to share experiences with other people that are all thinking and feeling the same things.

Hoping that someone might be able to offer some hope but in the meantime, stay hopeful! X

resipsa Tue 23-Apr-13 16:48:15

York I have no idea how we have got to the IVF stage to be honest. I didn't even want DC until I was nearly 39! When we decided to try then, I thought it'd be so easy to say "well, we tried but it didn't work". So naive. As for IVF, we agreed after deciding to try for another that we'd NEVER go that far but here I am. I think I just need to know that I tried everything. I've tried to put the money part to one side (until the credit card bill comes then not sure what I'll do). Sorry, no help!

MurderOfProse Wed 24-Apr-13 13:15:40

In a very similar situation, especially as regards the age gap. Each month that goes past (and especially September due dates.. another year before they're all at school..) I feel like time is slipping away and my life is constantly on hold.

I've conceived six times within a month or two (only half as many take home babies sadly, and often very high risk pregnancies [that issue now resolved] with the ones we did) up until we started TTC our last a year ago. Conception had never been the problem, but now it's been over a year. Basic tests all come back fine so tomorrow I'm having a lap and then maybe clomid.

Something has changed but I've no idea what - I'm "only" 36 and I can't believe the "fertility cliff" at 35 is quite that severe!!

Like many others, we've agreed that if IVF is needed then we won't go any further, but we want to exhaust the simpler, cheaper options so at least we can live with no regrets. We'd have given up a long time ago were it not for the overwhelming sense of feeling I'd betrayed that final little missing child we'd always wanted and planned for since forever. I'm not religious but a small part of me wonders if the universe is trying to tell me that we've had enough now and perhaps that child is not there waiting for us to make him or her. But I don't want to reach the menopause and feel we could have done more.

I feel guilty because we have children and some people are desperate for even one. There is nowhere to go for support because even if people don't say it, I know they're thinking it.. we're greedy. Probably they're right, I struggle to even justify it to myself to be honest. I know when I had none or one and having miscarriage issues I used to roll my eyes at people with multiple children desperate for more, although obviously I understand rather better now.

Aside from the initial basic tests, we're doing things privately partly because of my guilt over this, but I can't shake the urge to have this baby any more than I could with any of the others. The desire each time is just as strong - it's not necessarily about any one individual baby, it's about feeling our family is complete.

Lots of luck to all of us.

namechangesforthehardstuff Wed 24-Apr-13 21:41:33

I'm with you all. 40, dd 3 next month. 25 months ttc. Clomid month 1. sad

And how they all love to ask when we're going to start trying for another... Or tell me that only children are weird. Or ask me if it's OK that they're pregnant (what the fuck am I supposed to say to that?)

We may adopt. I don't know if we can justify the cost of IVF. I'd want to go to ARGC and that is SO expensive...

I just feel like I'm doing nothing but waiting. In the two week wait now but I also think it's a no go this month.


dietcokeandwine Thu 25-Apr-13 23:04:48

Have experienced secondary infertility and can completely remember all the emotions you are all describing.

I am one of the lucky ones though and did eventually manage to conceive a sibling for my DS1, via IVF. It took us 3 months to conceive DS1; it took 3 years, 2 miscarriages, lots of alternative therapies, 6 rounds of Clomid and finally IVF to conceive DS2. There is a 5 year gap between them. But we got there. Eventually. I also went on to conceive naturally, and completely unexpectedly, following 2 failed IVF cycles to try for a third child (we had always wanted 3 children). Was about to start 3rd and final IVF cycle when my period was miraculously late, and my gorgeous baby DS3 is now 12 weeks old smile

Secondary infertility is really hard, my heart goes out to you all, I hope my story can give you some hope though.

DeMaz Fri 26-Apr-13 08:40:28

Thanks dietcokeandwine and many congratulations on your wonderful family. Your post has definitely given me hope. Can I just ask.......Did you have unexplained infertility? Did you have a battery of tests beforehand? The reason I ask is because I am going through this right now.

Thanks a million.

resipsa Fri 26-Apr-13 14:43:46

Diet great post, thanks!

dietcokeandwine Fri 26-Apr-13 22:51:24

DeMaz sorry you are in this position too, I can still remember so vividly how hard it was...and so frustrating and painful when you've conceived easily enough first time around!

Yes officially unexplained infertility although a few 'borderline' things, if that makes sense. I had various tests:

- 3 day and 21 day bloods -progesterone levels and FSH all fine
-hysterosalpingogram -tubes clear
- internal scan - uterus fine, ovaries fine but whilst I was never formally diagnosed with PCOS I was found to have significantly more follicles than might be expected for a women of my age (35 at the time).
-DH had the usual SA and was found to have poor morphology but an exceptionally high sperm count, so the poor morphology was kind of cancelled out by the sheer number of sperm in the analysis.

So nothing major discovered but a couple of not-quite-textbook-perfect issues picked up which may well have had an impact on our struggles to conceive.

We went through phases of trying alternative therapies (acupuncture, reflexology), taking stacks of vitamins and supplements, and cutting things out of our diets (alcohol, caffeine, sugar etc). Not sure any of those really made much difference tbh but at least we felt we were doing something positive at the time!

I was 32 when we had the super-easy conception of DS1, nearly 34 when we started trying for a sibling, 37 when we finally went through IVF and were blessed with DS2, and just 40 when we conceived DS3 naturally, if that helps anyone worried about age-related fertility concerns...

Oh and on the age gap between children thing, and worries about it becoming too big and so on...I used to obsess about this, literally working out each month what our age gap would be (down to the week) if I were to conceive this time. I desperately wanted a 2 year gap, 3 year maximum, and got 5. It's not what we planned/hoped for, but actually, it's lovely. The older two have a great (if noisy!) relationship. DS2 is currently rather unimpressed with baby brother, but DS1 (now nearly 9) is transparently besotted with him. DS1 was an only child for over 5 years but we've never had any major jealousy issues. There are so many plusses - not least that with a bigger gap, you have the time and energy to enjoy the second baby so much more. I've been able to give solid chunks of undivided attention to the younger two that just wouldn't have been possible with my longed-for two year gap. And I can honestly say that I enjoyed DS2's babyhood just as much as I did DS1's, and I'm now enjoying DS3 just as much too, and I don't think I'd have experienced that same level of enjoyment and sheer delight in doing the baby thing again had their conceptions happened quickly and easily.

I hope that helps, although I know that when you are going through this it feels like it will never ever happen. But it can happen and hopefully it will for you too.

Lots and lots of good luck to everyone on the thread.

dietcokeandwine Fri 26-Apr-13 23:03:53

resipsa just read back properly and realised you have just started IVF - good luck, sending lots of positive vibes for a BFP at the end of your cycle smile

ICantFindAFreeNickName Fri 26-Apr-13 23:20:47

DS1 was conceived in first month of trying. Took over 4 years to get DD. We had all the usual tests & was told it was unexplained secondary infertility although my age was against me (36 when we started trying for no 2).
After 3 cycles of Clomid & 1 round of turkey baster (cant remember actual name of procedure) we were having a month off any treatment as I needed a break, when I conceived. It never even crossed my mind that I could be pregnant, it was only that I needed to call my doctor when my period started so they could book me in for my next round of treatment. It slowly dawned on me that I was a week late!

I understand all the emotions you are going through - I felt so guilty about wanting another child, when so many people can't even have one. I also felt guilty that my DS would not have a sibling - although we know lots of single child who are very happy about it. I also understand the feeling of putting your life on hold. I decided that we would keep trying until I was 39 & 3 months then give up & get on with our lives as a family of 3. Luckily I conceived 6 months before that, but I needed the cut off point for my own sanity.

The gap between my two is nearly 7 years, which is way more than the 2 yeas we were planning originally. But it's turned out really well. I feel both children have had lots attention and they have always been the best of friends, as there is no sibling competition.

Good luck to everyone who is ttc xx

Lintilla Sat 27-Apr-13 10:49:05


I am currently going through all of this. I have a 3 year old DD and we have been trying for number 2 since she was 6 months old. We had 2 years of nothing, all the tests coming back normal but then I fell pregnant naturally in September when we were just about to start with fertility treatment. Unfortunately I miscarried at 5 weeks, then miscarried again at 5 weeks in December and there has been nothing since.

I am currently going through investigations for recurrent miscarriage and have so far had normal scan but I was borderline for lupus anticoagulant. I have been told to have another blood test 12 weeks from the first to see if the result changes at all, then back to see the consultant in June. So at the moment I feel we are in limbo.

With regards to the age gap, to start I really wanted a small gap but the longer it goes on the more I can see the positives of a bigger gap. But it is something that we have no control over so I feel it is best for me to accept that aspect.

I have switched to caffeine free tea but don't drink coffee anyway, I'm having reflexology and I'm trying to eat more meat because I've read that can help with progesterone production. But I just cannot give up my wine - especially with AF arrives!!

It just feels so rubbish to go through this sometimes. Good luck to everyone.

teaandchocolate Sat 27-Apr-13 12:09:45

Dietcoke and Icantfind thank you so much for your posts. It's really nice to read about people who've been there and come out the other end. I completely relate to what you say. I keep having to readjust my expectations particularly in relation to the age gap. I also feel like nearly everyone I know has a two year gap or less which doesn't help. Everyone keeps telling me that when it happens it will all be fine but part of me feels like even if it does happen again for me I'll always be a bit sad for what might have been, particularly because of the miscarriages.

I'd really like it if this thread kept going as I don't feel like I really 'belong' on most of the other conception and infertility threads, mainly because I feel awful moaning about not being able to have a second when some can't even have one.

I also hate to say it but I always wanted three dc! Now feel a bit silly saying that when 2 is proving so difficult. And another thing that panics me is the thought of dd going to school next year. If I don't have another baby by then what will I do with myself??!

DeMaz Sat 27-Apr-13 13:24:09

Thanks so much for your post Diet. I was 33 when I had my little girl and now I will be 36. I'm pretty sure those three years have made a difference to my fertility. I've had all the bloods and they came back ok. Hubby's SA was good too. So now I'm thinking maybe I have a blocked tube(s)... Or low AMH. ( FSH 8.7)... Everything just goes though my head....I read about an issue with fertility and I convince myself I have that problem.
I had my HSG booked but was cancelled last minute so have to re-book. I also have an ultrasound on the 10th May so I'm hoping both these procedures might give me some answers.

Thanks again for your post and for YorkshireTea for starting this thread. I'm so glad I'm not alone...


dietcokeandwine Sat 27-Apr-13 13:51:48

Lintilla sorry you are going through this too. I never managed to give up the wine either (my username gives a good clue as to my key vices grin). Ironically the month we conceived DS3 we'd been away for a weekend with friends and had both drunk like fishes both evenings!

DeMaz that's frustrating for you re your HSG - hope you manage to rebook soon. Your FSH sounds fine but as you say hopefully your scan and HSG will give you answers too.

teaandchocolate I think it would be a great idea to keep this thread going. I wish something like it had been around when I was struggling so much trying to have DS2. There is a particular kind of pain to secondary infertility, compounded by that guilt - as so many of you have said, you are blessed to have one child and it feels so greedy to be desperate for another when others are struggling to have any.

Saying that, of course primary infertility must be so much worse (my sister is currently going through IVF in an attempt to have a first baby and my heart aches for her), but at the same time I do think secondary infertility throws up issues and challenges that primary infertility simply doesn't. You can't avoid babies and young toddlers, for a start. I remember a friend of mine who struggled to conceive her first child saying that when she was having a bad time she would simply avoid going anywhere where babies and children might be (parks, daytime social gatherings and so on). You can't do that if you have a child already, because your own preschooler wants to go to the park or the party, and your life invariably revolves around other young families who will of course be producing second and third children at the drop of a hat.

And in struggling to have a second child, it's not just you and your partner you're grieving for - it's your DS or DD as well. That was almost the worst bit for me - feeling that I was failing DS in not being able to give him a brother or sister.

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