Secondary infertility strikes at any time. After successfully conceiving two kids, conceiving our third would take two years and countless tears.
In 2013, we decided that we were ready to conceive our third child. Our second child was a year old, and we anxiously planned to try to conceive once my first postpartum cycle returned. Once it returned, we immediately started trying. In September 2013, we conceived and were elated! Then, we lost our little angel through a miscarriage in October.
I thought we would conceive soon afterward, but we were wrong. Months flew by, and each month the test was negative. We were baffled. Conception wasn’t an issue before with our first two children, so what could be wrong?
Facing Secondary Infertility
Finally, after a year, we went to my OBGYN expressing concerns. It wasn’t normal for a couple to try to conceive for a year with no results. We were healthy and had babies before.
So, my doctor ran a variety of tests on me, and everything came back normal. Then, he ran a semen analysis on my husband, and we finally discovered the problem. My husband’s sperm count was very low, along with his motility. My doctor said that, at these numbers, IUI or IVF would be necessary to conceive.
We were crushed.
I did what any normal person would do – I googled. After hours of research, I stumbled across information that certain anti-depressants can harm a man’s sperm count. A lightbulb went off; my husband took SSRIs each day for a year. Could that have led to the problems?
Together, my husband and I decided to see if that was the issue. He weaned off the medications (and hasn’t taken them again since then!) and began to take additional vitamins to see if it would help.
In June 2015, we successfully conceived our third child. Another semen analysis showed that his count drastically improved, along with the motility. We have since conceived and birthed our fourth and final child with no problems.
What You Should Know About Secondary Infertility
People have a misconception that because a couple has a child or children, it shouldn’t hurt when they aren’t able to conceive. Let me tell you, it hurts. When you want another child and feel that void in your family, it is painful. We love our children immensely, but we still had a strong desire for another child. We knew we were missing a family member.
Well-meaning friends tried to bush it off.
“If you don’t have another, it’s ok! You have a boy and girl, so you already have a perfect family.”
“Do you really NEED a third child?”
“It shouldn’t be upsetting. You have other kids!”
While our pain isn’t the same as a couple facing primary infertility, brushing off the emotions that a couple with secondary infertility has isn’t fair. The pain and emotions are valid.
Secondary infertility can affect anyone. Don’t think that because you’ve had children that it cannot happen. While we determined the cause and went on to conceive successfully, many couples never do.