infertility or subfertility is an often ignored or misunderstood
aspect of infertility. And yet, over three million Americans are
affected by the condition.
infertility is the inability to conceive after one or more successful
pregnancies. It can happen to both couples who have struggled with
primary infertility in the past or couple who were previously fertile.
Technically, some couples are classed as subfertile as they may
be able to fall pregnant naturally or have done so in the past.
These couples may feel as though their doctors or other infertile
couples do not take them seriously.
does it affect couples?
women who have gone through primary infertility and assisted conception
to have their first child may have embraced all the 'normal' parenting
experiences such as playgroups believing that they have left the
experience of infertility behind them. However, when other mothers
begin falling pregnant easily with their second or even third child-
either by accident or design- they may begin to feel isolated and
resentful. Flippant references to only children, ideal age gaps
or being super fertile can also be hurtful to someone struggling
with secondary infertility.
can experience a range of emotions including guilt about wanting
another child (especially if they know other couples struggling
with primary infertility), guilt about not being able to give their
existing child a sibling, and resentment and jealousy of other fertile
fertility treatment with a child at home add complications - particularly
if no childcare is available. Couples may find it hard to hide or
explain disappointment over failed cycles or grief over lost pregnancies
and worry about the impact on their existing child.
support for secondary infertility can be a challenge. Fertile friends
and relatives often do not understand and previous support outlets
(for primary infertility) may now be inappropriate. Joining a support
group specifically for secondary infertility or couples with IVF
children - either online or in person- may be a better option.
an indepth discussion of SECONDARY INFERTILITY see this article
by RESOLVE on secondary infertility