Why can't I get pregnant the second time around?

May 18, 2016

Got pregnant almost immediately first time round? Trying for baby number two and finding that it's just not happening? Believe it or not, this phenomenon is quite common among many women who are trying to conceive a second time.

The proper name for this issue is secondary infertility and it can affect all sorts of women from different age groups and backgrounds.

One of the first things to focus on is double check that you're trying at the right times and have correctly pinpointed your fertile period. You can do this with a fertility tracker app or ovulation test kit that checks for hormone levels.

If it's been over a year since you began trying you should make an appointment with your GP. A quick chat with your doctor could give you the peace of mind that everything is ok and to keep trying for a bit longer.

You might also be referred for some fertility tests:

  • Your partner's sperm will be tested first.
  • You'll be given a blood test to check your hormone levels and ovulation cycle.
  • A chlamydia test (through a vaginal swab) is also performed - chlaymdia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which affects fertility. 
  • You may also have a transvaginal ultrasound that gives doctors the chance to look at your fallopian tubes and ovaries.
  • Sometimes some dye in injected through the cervix, which helps fertility specialists to check for any blockages in the fallopian tubes that can prevent an egg from passing down to the womb where it can be fertilised.
  • Although not offered on the NHS, you can also get a separate blood test to check the health and number of your egg reserves.

The results of these tests will determine the next bit. You might not show any signs of a problem, which means you can keep on trying to conceive naturally. If any treatment is required you can discuss this with your fertility doctor and come up with a plan that suits you and your partner.

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