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When a second child is hard to conceive

If you had no problems conceiving your first baby, you probably assume it will be the same second time around. Many couples are taken by surprise when they find they do have trouble and that this isn't unusual.

It’s called secondary infertility when a brother or sister fails to arrive, and according to a Fertility New Zealand survey, one in six couples take more than a year to conceive a second child. <local adaption>
That it’s common is little comfort. The impatience mounts as the months go by. You know it worked the last time, but now… It seems impossible. It’s sad, annoying and very frustrating.

Why can't I conceive again?
There are many causes of secondary infertility – ovulation problems, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), fibroids, hormonal disorders, endometriosis, a previous ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease or sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, as well as male infertility.

But the main reason might just be that as you get older, your fertility drops, and many of the causes of infertility are more likely to kick in. Causes of infertility jump dramatically when women move from their 20s to their 30s.

Seeking help for infertility
As a general guide, a check is advised if you have been trying to conceive for 12 months and are under 35 years old, or after six months if you’re over 35. If you have irregular periods or if you know your partner has a low sperm count, seek help earlier.

In the meantime – keep trying!

Trouble conceiving a sibling? Share your thoughts here.
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