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Most people presume that once they have successfully managed to conceive without any problem, future attempts will be just as seamless. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Millions of people all over the world suffer from what is known as secondary infertility. It is even more common than primary infertility.
What is secondary infertility?
Secondary infertility occurs when the couple is unable to have a baby, following a successful delivery of the child. In some cases, women are also unable to carry the baby full term, after getting pregnant for the second time.
The couple who are young, i.e., below 35 and have tried for a baby for over a year should then seek help from a Gynecologist in Lahore. Women who are older carry higher risks. Moreover, those with problems like infrequent periods and endometriosis should visit the doctor for an evaluation earlier than 12 months.
The prognosis offered by secondary infertility is still better than in cases where couples have not managed to get pregnant altogether. However, often, both conditions have similar causes.
Causes of secondary infertility
It is common amongst women who have their babies in their late 30s or early 40s, as by the time they plan for a second baby, their biological clock is not in their favor.
As women age, their hormones and thus eggs are affected. Moreover, their risks for diseases also increase. These two complicate their condition, leading to problems conceiving a child for the second time.
Certain diseases can also cause structural problems in the uterus or the fallopian tubes, complicating ovulation and thus pregnancy. These include endometriosis, uterine fibroids or polyps, scarring in the uterus.
Problems with the shape of the uterus can also cause fertility problems. Moreover, in men too, structural problems can hinder sperm production and delivery.
Certain infections can also increase the risk of infertility. Most are associated with STDs. Examples of infections that can hinder fertility include Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, HPV, etc. When treated quickly, the prognosis is much better. However, delay the treatment, and you might have to suffer from fertility issues.
Women who delivered their first baby via C-section have the risk of scarring in the uterus, referred to as isthmocele. It leads to inflammation in the uterus, which makes it hard for the implantation process to occur.
Sometimes, it our lifestyle choices that are to be blamed. Often, people skimp on sleep or overdo it. Not sleeping at the correct time, i.e., at night is another common practice. Lack of quality shuteye has grave implications for the hormones, and thus, conception.
Caffeine is another common culprit. A staple for many, caffeine, when taken in moderation, can be good for health. But when consumed excessively, it can actually put your wellbeing and fertility in peril.
Furthermore, many people are still in the habit of smoking. Notwithstanding the fact that it increases the risk of disease and death, smoking also decreases sperm count in men. It also affects the DNA of the sperm. In women, smoking damages eggs, and interferes with the process of ovulation.
Drinking alcohol is another reason why couples suffer from secondary infertility. Consuming greater amounts of alcohol is harmful to women, and men, both. It takes greater effort for the couple to conceive. The health of the child is also at stake in such cases.
The effects are more pronounced in men, as alcohol causes hormonal problems that then lead to lowered sperm count and quality.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition in which hormonal imbalance throws off the menstrual cycle. Consequently, women suffer from irregular periods, and thus, lack of ovulation that decreases their probability of getting pregnant.
The silver lining is, PCOS’ associated infertility problems are easier to treat. Drugs can be used to regulate hormones in the body then.
Just like the quality and quantity of eggs are affected as women age, similar is the impact of age on sperms.
Men who are older have less sperm count. Moreover, at times, medication can also be responsible for low sperm production. While no one can turn back time, some helpful practices can be incorporated by men to ensure that the changes to sperm count are minimized.
Taking testosterone supplements is not good for sperm count. Similarly, sperm production is compromised when testicles are exposed to heat. Therefore, men should refrain from wearing tight clothes. They should also put their electronic gadgets like phones in the back to protect, not around the testes.
Being overweight or obese exponentially increases the risks of disease and chronic conditions, that may affect the fertility of the couple. Obesity is it itself increases the likelihood of infertility.
In women, added pounds cause insulin resistance, which then jeopardizes ovulation. Similarly, in men, the extra weight causes an increase in estrogen levels. Consequently, their sperm count decreases. Obesity is also a risk factor for erectile dysfunction in men.
Therefore, couples trying to get pregnant need to ensure that their weight is optimal. Making lifestyle changes, eating better, and exercising regularly are excellent ways to lose weight, permanently.
There are even cases where the cause for secondary infertility cannot be determined. Rather than falling into despair, couples need to be resolute and strong.
The world of scientific research has grown by leaps and bound. Novel solutions to different problems are emerging, so continue working with your Gynecologist in Karachi for you never know when the luck strikes.