Some people may not realize this, but there are actually two different types of infertility. The two different types of infertility are primary infertility and secondary infertility.
For many couples, having a child or children is one of
the most important goals in their lives.
Many people long to be parents and
understandably so. Having children can bring great joy and purpose to our
Unfortunately, it is not easy for
every couple to get pregnant and have a child.
In other cases, a couple may
be able to have a child but then struggle to conceive or carry a second child. When
a couple struggles to have a child, it is called infertility.
How is Infertility Defined?
Every couple is different, and depending on a number
of different factors, everyone is able
to get pregnant at a different speed.
Some couples are able to achieve
pregnancy almost immediately upon beginning to try to conceive, while others
may take many weeks, months, or even years.
So, you probably are wondering when
a couple would be considered as having a problem with infertility.
Well, if a
couple has been trying to achieve pregnancy by regularly having sexual
intercourse without using any forms of contraceptives for at least one year, they would be diagnosed with infertility.
The Differences Between Primary and Secondary Infertility
Some people may not realize this, but there are
actually two different types of infertility.
The two different types of
infertility are primary infertility and secondary infertility.
slightly, but overall are caused by the
same problems and treated in the same ways.
The biggest difference with
these two different forms of infertility is the way that they may be perceived
by others and the way that they may make you, as a couple, feel.
#1 Primary Infertility
Primary infertility is the type of infertility that
most people are aware of and know about.
It is what most would think of when
they hear the word infertility.
Primary infertility refers to the type of
infertility that a couple would be diagnosed with when they are unable to have a child at all.
suffering with primary infertility is a
childless couple that has never been able to conceive a pregnancy or has
never been able to carry a pregnancy in order to achieve a live birth.
#2 Secondary Infertility
This is the type of infertility that many people are
It is not uncommon to not realize that a couple that already has a
child or children can suffer from infertility which is exactly what secondary
It is when a couple has
conceived a pregnancy and achieved a live birth before but is unable to achieve
another pregnancy and live birth.
Basically, the couple has a child or
children, but is now unable to continue having children.
Struggles Specific to
Having primary infertility can often lead perspective
parents into a truly hopeless feeling.
If you are unable to have a child, you may feel like it is impossible for you
and that you will never have a child at all. You may long desperately to know what
it is like to be a parent and have a child, and it is likely that you fear that
you will never know that feeling.
These are all completely normal and
Struggles Specific to
Secondary infertility comes with its own specific set
It is not uncommon for people to lack understanding of what you
are going through. Many people may look at it like since you already have a
child or children, that it isn’t a big deal that you aren’t able to have more.
You even may struggle with a feeling of
guilt for being unhappy about not being able to have more children. You may
feel like you should be happy just having the child or children that you
It is important to remember that just because you want more
children, it does not mean that you aren’t happy with the child or children
that you do have. It is still hard and
unfair when you are unable to choose the size of your family, even if you
are able to have one or some children.
Possible Causes of
Whether you have primary infertility or secondary
infertility, there are a variety of
different things that can cause the infertility.
The cause of infertility
for a specific couple may have to do with the female, the male, or a
combination of problems with each.
If you and your partner have been trying to
conceive without success for a year or longer, it may be a good time to reach
out for help in diagnosing the cause of your infertility.
Causes of Female Infertility
There are a variety of problems that may be occurring
to cause a female to be infertile and have trouble conceiving or carrying a
Possible causes of infertility in a woman could be due to problems
with the fallopian tubes, irregular ovulation or other ovulation disorders,
problems with the uterus, fibroids, endometriosis, or in some cases, STDs or
A woman’s age can also play a role
in this because as a woman ages, she may not ovulate as regularly, her
reproductive system may not function as well, and her eggs may not be as
Causes of Male Infertility
Although male infertility may sometimes be caused by
something such as a genetic disease or other problem, male infertility is usually caused by some kind of problem with the
The male may fail to produce sperm, may have a low sperm count, may
have abnormally shaped sperm, DNA fragmentation of sperm, or may just not
transfer sperm well.
If you and your partner are struggling to have a
child, you can meet with a fertility specialist who will be able to examine
your infertility and perform tests to help discover the cause of your
Testing may include blood
draws, ultrasounds, semen collection, and physical exams.
Most of the time,
a cause can be determined which can help with treatment, but even when a cause
is unable to be determined, there are still treatment options.
Treatment of Infertility
The treatment of infertility varies a lot and usually
depends on the cause of the infertility. It would
usually begin with the most basic options such as tracking the female’s cycle
to determine the best timing to achieve the best chance of conceiving.
treatment may include medications including hormones to help induce ovulation.
The road of infertility is often a difficult and long
It can take a lot of commitment, determination, and perseverance to
achieve your goals of conceiving when you are struggling with any type of
Treatment options have come
a long way, and while nothing is ever guaranteed, there is a good chance
that by holding on to hope and not giving up, that you will still be able to
become pregnant and give birth to a child.
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