Understanding secondary infertility: causes, diagnosis and treatments

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What is secondary infertility?

Secondary infertility is the difficulty of conceiving a child after having already had at least one pregnancy in the past. Couples affected by this problem can feel frustrated and lost when faced with this unexpected situation. The fertility specialists at Procrea clinics in Quebec and Ontario are here to help you understand the potential causes of secondary infertility, as well as the treatment options available to you.

Factors influencing secondary infertility


Inevitably, as we age, our bodies change. Women have fewer eggs available and their quality declines with age, as does sperm quality in men. Consultations with professionals and fertility tests can help determine whether your ovarian reserve is sufficient to conceive.

Hormones and general health

Our hormones and health also change with age. Problems such as fibroids, cysts or endometriosis can affect women’s fertility, while hormonal and urological disorders can impact men’s fertility. Taking care of your body by adopting good lifestyle habits, such as a balanced diet, regular physical exercise and moderate consumption of tobacco and alcohol, are essential for preserving fertility.

Weight and infertility: a little-known link

  • Women with a non-ideal BMI often have lower implantation rates and ovulation problems. Studies show that losing just a few kilos can improve the chances of conceiving naturally or with treatment.
  • In men, overweight is also linked to lower sperm count and sperm motility.

Diagnosis and treatment of secondary infertility

It’s important to assess your situation with the help of a specialist. If you’re under 35 and have been trying to conceive for over a year without success, it’s time to consult a specialist. If you’re over 35, don’t hesitate to consult a specialist after six months of unsuccessful attempts.

Fertility tests

Various tests and analyses can help determine the causes of your difficulties in getting pregnant:

Treatment options

Depending on the results of these tests, Procrea’s specialists can offer you various options:

  • Medical treatments: hormone therapy, antioxidants or anti-inflammatories
  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI): a technique that involves depositing laboratory-prepared sperm directly into the uterus.
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF): procedure during which eggs are fertilized by sperm in the laboratory before being transferred to the woman’s uterus.
  • Egg or sperm donation: option considered for couples where one partner has a fertility problem linked to the impossibility of producing quality gametes.

Secondary infertility is a complex, multifactorial problem, affecting many couples wishing to expand their family. It is essential to consult an expert to establish an accurate diagnosis and consider the best treatment options for each situation. At Procrea, we work with you to understand what may be happening in your specific case and guide you on your journey to parenthood.

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