Secondary infertility refers to the situation where a couple has successfully conceived and had a baby before, but is unable to get (or stay pregnant) again with a subsequent child. Having one or more children already, does not make this situation any easier to bear and can be just as devastating as infertility with a first child. One couple share their story here:
Our first child was conceived relatively easily. I went off the pill and 4 months later I was happily pregnant.
I had always wanted to have my children close together, so when my first baby was 9 months old we started trying to get pregnant with number two. Not expecting any problems we were a bit surprised when we still weren’t pregnant after 6 months. I consulted my doctor who said I was probably just stressed with looking after my first-born and to come back after trying for a further 3 months.
During those next 3 months I tried homeopathy, iridology and acupuncture – still no pregnancy. We then heard about Fertility Focus and were impressed by its more scientific approach, so we made an appointment to meet with Juliette. She explained to us that by charting my cycle, we could make sure that we were timing things right and eliminate that as being the problem. She also explained that charting could help us identify potential fertility problems. Through charting, we established that I was ovulating, that my cycles appeared normal and fertile and that we were having sex at the right times. After 6 cycles of timing sex correctly I was still not pregnant and Juliette advised us that there was now a 50% chance that we had a genuine fertility problem. On that basis she recommended we get further investigation done. I discussed this with my doctor who told me that I ‘knew too much’, but thankfully referred me on to a specialist.
A semen analysis and ultrasound came back normal and our specialist put us on the fertility drug Clomiphene to make me ovulate. Juliette advised against this as my charts hadn’t indicated a problem with ovulation and she felt strongly that there was something else going on. Instead, she suggested I get an HSG (hysterosalpingogram) or a laparoscopy and dye test done, to check that my tubes were open and that everything else appeared normal.
I mentioned this to my specialist and produced my charts but he ignored them and just repeated my prescription for Clomiphene. After 6 months on Clomiphene, I had now been trying to get pregnant for 20 months. We were feeling desperate so we finally paid privately for a laparoscopy and dye test.
During the laparoscopy they discovered that one of my tubes was blocked and I had a polyp in my uterus. These were both treated during surgery and a month later I was pregnant!
I felt so angry at my specialist for not paying attention to the charting that we had done and my concern about prescribing the Clomiphene unnecessarily. If there’s any advice I can give to couples out there it’s to do your research, trust yourself and push for what you want.
I am so grateful for the support and advice we were given through Fertility Focus and for the recommendation by Juliette to get the laparoscopy. Otherwise, who knows, we might have ended up having to pay for IVF!
As it is, we now have a beautiful baby boy and he has made all the heartache worthwhile!
KR and SR Wellington, New Zealand