Secondary Infertility: How You Can Still Conceive Baby #2

May 29, 2018

Every mother knows having a child is one of the most fulfilling acts she will ever perform. The love and connection between a mother and her child is irreplaceable. Unfortunately, secondary infertility can be an obstacle to mothers who wish to grow their family. When these mothers receive this heartbreaking diagnosis, it may seem like all hope is lost. Thankfully, through modern science and donated eggs from, a woman can still experience the miracle of life when facing secondary infertility.

What is Secondary Infertility?

Secondary infertility (SI) is a woman’s inability to conceive or carry a baby to term after successfully giving birth. SI is not a rare phenomenon, with millions of women struggling to have another baby every year.

Secondary Infertility Causes

Why do so many women struggle with SI? Doctors have found several possible causes of SI, including the following:

  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Severe weight gain or loss
  • Fallopian tube damage
  • Inhospitable uterine conditions
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Complications during first pregnancy
  • New sexual partner

Above all, advancing age is the most detrimental factor to the reproduction process. Victoria Fertility Centre cites ‘the egg factor’ as one of the most prevalent causes of infertility, secondary or otherwise:

“Women are born with a finite number of eggs… From the moment after birth, eggs are dying every day… Although women only ovulate (release an egg) once a month – literally thousands of eggs are dying monthly.”

Both primary and secondary infertility are becoming more prevalent as more women choose to conceive later in life while their number and quality of viable eggs decrease. But, there’s hope.

The Donor Egg In Vitro Fertilization Process

These women can still conceive through donor egg in vitro fertilization. This process refers to creating an embryo outside of the body by using donated eggs from a younger woman, and then implanting it within the recipient mother’s uterus. Before undergoing this procedure to add your newest family member, you must make a few key decisions.

Fresh or Frozen Eggs?

Understanding the difference between fresh and frozen eggs is vital when using donor egg in vitro fertilization. With fresh eggs, the odds of fertilization are slightly higher, but both mother and donor need to synchronize their menstrual cycles beforehand. For this route, you need to choose someone who fulfills the following requirements:

  • Under 34 years of age
  • Good genetic history
  • Stable personal life
  • Fertile

Finding someone who is willing to donate with these qualifications can be difficult. Luckily, couples can alternatively choose to use frozen donated eggs. By using frozen eggs, you won’t have a shortage of willing donors, most of whom have proven success rates.

Seek Therapy

Therapy is recommended to couples going through IVF. The process can take parents through a rollercoaster of emotions, and having a professional therapist to prepare both of you for the journey is helpful.

Understand the Laws

If you undergo fresh egg donation using a friend or family member’s eggs, you’ll be forming a very intimate bond with your donor. You’ll need to establish boundaries concerning parental rights, financial responsibility, and future contact. Having lawyers involved can help ensure both sides are fairly represented. If you’re using frozen donor eggs, all contracts are provided and most donors remain anonymous.

Begin the IVF Process

Now, you’re ready to begin your journey to parenthood. If you’re using fresh eggs, you’ll need to take medication to sync your menstrual cycle with your donor’s cycle. Using fresh eggs is more time-consuming, as donor screening can take anywhere from three weeks to two months. The IVF cycle takes an additional three weeks to complete. On the other hand, the entire frozen donor egg cycle takes as few as five weeks from beginning to end.

Ensure a Healthy Pregnancy

About two weeks after the embryo is transferred, known as the “two-week wait,” your doctor will perform a blood test to confirm whether or not your IVF treatment was successful. Those two weeks will be a trying period, so it’s important to take care of your mind as well as your body. When you receive a positive test result, it’ll all be worth it.

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