When Shobhit and Priyanka Iyer decided to start a family in 2011, they were amazed when they discovered that they were pregnant within two months of dropping birth control. The pregnancy was healthy and smooth, and in March 2012, they became the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl they named Sia. By the summer of 2014, the couple began trying to add another little Iyer to their family, but after about ten months of trying, Priyanka knew there was something severely wrong. This time around, she had been charting her ovulation with military precision using home prediction kits, and she was almost certain that she'd been getting the ball through the hoop on the right days. Deciding to wait for two more months before reaching for help, she soldiered on. But two months and no positive pregnancy test later, she knew it was time to meet a doctor.
In June 2015, Shobhit and Priyanka were diagnosed with secondary infertility, a condition that prevents couples who have had a successful prior pregnancy from getting pregnant again despite regular, unprotected intercourse. Secondary infertility comprises 20-30% of infertility cases in urban India and is triggered by many of the same causes as primary infertility.
In Shobhit and Priyanka's case, the culprit of their infertility was endometriosis, a condition where uterine tissue begins to grow outside the uterus. In general, however, secondary infertility can be caused by the male or female partner. The likely causes span a wide spectrum, of which some are given below.
Fallopian tube impairment
Complications from a previous pregnancy
Effects of a prior surgery
Advanced reproductive age
Low sperm production
Compromised sperm function
Inadequate sperm delivery
Secondary infertility is a blanket term used to suggest a couple's inability to have a second pregnancy despite having conceived and carried a baby to term in the past. For women below 35, the ideal interval to wait before considering fertility treatment is one year; for women over 35, the equivalent window is six months. There is no single treatment plan that can address the plethora of underlying conditions associated with secondary infertility. Every couple is different and the condition can be overcome with a customised treatment plan.
In August 2015, Shobhit and Priyanka met Dr. Manju Nair at Cloudnine Hospital, Old Airport Road, who after an extensive spate of scans, recommended in vitro fertilisation (IVF). She assured them that with endometriosis, IVF promised greater odds than other methods. Priyanka conceived on her very first IVF cycle and delivered the couple's second baby, a healthy baby boy, in July 2016.
The key to coping with secondary infertility is to open communication channels with those that are close to you. Lean on your partner and open your heart to them about how you feel. Knowing you're in this together can lend strength to your bond and prepare you both for medical intervention. Turn to close family and friends to help you navigate your headspace. There are myriad online support groups for secondary infertility that you can also draw inspiration from. For professional guidance, it is a good idea to meet a counsellor who can help you on the path to conception.
If you've been struggling with secondary infertility, meet a fertility specialist on Cloudnine. Our experienced team of fertility experts crafts unique treatment plans in line with a couple's combined medical history, profile and expectations. With a technology suite that hinges on the latest global innovations, our fertility outcomes are among the best in India.
Come, find your second chance on Cloudnine.
Must Read: About Secondary Infertility in Males