The fact that fertility problems can occur for people who had no trouble conceiving their first child often comes as something of a surprise – and yet it’s very common. You may have seen the article in The Guardian this weekend by journalist Sarfraz Manzoor about the difficulties he and his wife experienced when they tried for a second child – a subject author Maggie O’Farrell had also written about in the paper some years ago. The magazine Fertility Road covered the subject recently, and it is great that it is being talked about.
All too often, there’s an assumption that secondary infertility is somehow less of a problem because you aren’t childless – and yet in fact the pain it causes may be different, but it is still a deeply distressing problem. Parents can feel guilty about not being able to provide a sibling for their child, and it can be very difficult to escape pregnant women and babies when you have a young child.
People sometimes put off seeking medical advice if they are experiencing secondary infertility having conceived without a problem in the past. In fact, there are no guarantees when it comes to fertility and it is actually more common to have a problem second time around than it is not to be able to have a child in the first place. Sometimes the difficulties you are experiencing are just down to the fact that you are older than you were when you got pregnant before, but there can be other medical problems which may have occurred in the interim. If it is taking you longer than you would have liked to get pregnant again, you should visit your GP in just the same way that you would do for primary infertility – so usually after a year of trying unsuccessfully or after 6 months if you are over 35.
One aspect of fertility problems which often gets overlooked is secondary infertility – that is when those who have already conceived successfully in the past either through treatment or naturally have problems getting pregnant again.
People experiencing secondary infertility often feel very guilty about the upset and hurt they go through when they can’t conceive as they are aware how fortunate they are to have a child – but secondary infertility brings very different challenges of its own. Fertility Network UK has a get-together for those experiencing secondary infertility in London on Saturday November 12th at 10.30am which is open to anyone who would like to attend. If you would like to go along, you can email the organiser at firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to give you the details of where to meet.
It’s a great opportunity to meet up with others who are experiencing similar difficulties and it can be surprisingly helpful just to be able to talk openly about this – so do go along if you can!
Secondary infertility – which happens when you are having trouble conceiving after getting pregnant before either naturally or with treatment – is something that is often overlooked. There is often an assumption that you must be able to get pregnant again if you’ve done so in the past – and that once you have a child, you ought to be satisfied with that anyway.
The topic has been covered in the press today, which reminded me that Fertility Network UK do have a special group for parents who are experiencing fertility problems. It can be incredibly helpful to get together with others who are going through similar things, and if you’d like to join the group you can contact the group by emailing email@example.com
If you’re a parent who is experiencing problems having another child, there’s a get-together this coming Monday at lunchtime in Central London.
It’s a great way to get in touch with other parents who are having fertility problems – you can email either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for details of Monday’s meeting.
New research from Cardiff University published in Human Reproduction this week has found that the unfulfilled desire for a child affects women’s mental health, regardless of whether they’re parents trying for another child or childless women. Secondary infertility can be particularly hard to deal with as there’s not much sympathy for those who are already parents and are trying unsuccessfully to conceive again – but there can be all kinds of specific difficulties in coping with secondary infertility which are often overlooked.
Infertility Network UK runs a special group for those who are parents who are trying to conceive again. It’s an informal get-together and a great opportunity to meet others who are going through the same thing and to share thoughts and experiences. The next meeting is in Central London on September 30 and you can find details here.
If you’re having problems getting pregnant and are already a parent, there’s a regular group in Central London for women in a similar position. Our next meeting is on Monday 9 December when we’ll be getting together for a drink and a chat. It’s a very friendly group and all are welcome – if you’d like to join us, email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
We are planning to set a date in the next few weeks for the first meeting of the secondary infertility support group in London. If you are trying unsuccessfully to conceive but you’ve already had a child either with or without treatment, you are more than welcome to come and join us. It will be an early evening meeting in London. For details email email@example.com
When you’ve already got a child – or more than one child – and are trying unsuccessfully to have another, you may feel that you don’t really have a right to find it tough when you know that so many people would long for what you have. Secondary infertility – that’s infertility for anyone who has been pregnant before – is not always understood, and people can find it hard to get support when they are trying to have another child as going along to a fertility support group may not feel appropriate.
I think there are some aspects of secondary infertility that can make it particularly difficult to cope with. First, you know exactly what you are missing out on by not being able to have another child. Also, as a parent it is impossible to avoid spending time with other parents and their children, and babies and pregnant women go with the territory which can also make it very tough.
There’s much to be gained from getting together with others who are going through similar experiences, so I’m setting up an Infertility Network UK support group in London for those with secondary infertility – do get in touch through my contact page if you’d like to know more or might want to come along.