What to Do if You Can’t Get Pregnant the Second Time

Posted by on Aug 6, 2018 in Causes of Infertility |

What to Do if You Can’t Get Pregnant the Second Time

Most women assume, once they’ve had a successful pregnancy, that they won’t have any fertility problems when it comes time to get pregnant with a second child. It comes as quite a surprise, then, in cases when a couple starts trying to get pregnant a second time, and realize after a number of months trying that it’s just not happening. How can this be possible? There’s already a healthy living child who seems to be proof that there’s no fertility problem, and yet the couple isn’t managing to get pregnant a second time. The medical term for this problem is “secondary infertility,” and the good news is that there are some infertility causes that can be immediately ruled out if you’ve already had a successful pregnancy. The list of possible causes is already narrowed down, so your doctor or fertility specialist should have an easier time identifying possible causes of your secondary infertility.

One possible cause is if you are still nursing your first child. Breastfeeding for an extended period offers a myriad of health benefits to the child, and despite a cultural tendency not to breastfeed for very long, it’s actually a very healthy choice for your child. At the same time, however, the hormones released while you are still nursing tend to act as natural birth control. This no doubt evolved as a survival strategy in primitive days when a mother and child were more likely to survive if she weren’t also caring for another infant right away. In any case, breastfeeding still acts as a natural form of hormonal birth control, and you may be unable to conceive again while you’re still nursing your first child. If you wean the first child, your menstrual cycle can return to normal and you may find yourself pregnant again soon after.

Another possibility in some cases is the factor of a different male partner. If a woman has had a successful pregnancy with one partner, she may assume there won’t be any problem with conceiving again in a second marriage or relationship. If the male partner is a changed factor, that’s a good first place to investigate if the couple seems unable to get pregnant. The male partner might have his sperm count tested to see if the infertility issue resides with him, in which case it can often be treated to resolve the problem.

If neither of these factors are issues for you, it may be time to take a look at your diet and lifestyle. Are there any habits or nutritional choices that have changed since the first time you conceived? Seemingly simple habits like coffee intake, for example, can negatively affect your fertility. Examine your diet, your lifestyle choices, your dietary supplements and nutrition, your exercise habits, and other aspects of your lifestyle to determine whether there are any new factors which might be affecting your fertility.

Perhaps, for example, you’re carrying a few extra pounds of “baby weight” since your first pregnancy. This in itself can affect your fertility for the second time around, because every pound above your ideal weight has a negative impact on fertility. It may be that dropping a few pounds in a healthy manner will not only make you feel better about yourself, but also fix the problem of your secondary infertility. Look at any other factors that may have changed since the first time you got pregnant, and make sure your diet is nutritionally sound, you’re not smoking or drinking alcohol, and your coffee or caffeine intake is minimal. Any one of these factors may be the answer to your secondary infertility.