If you’re thinking about expanding your family, the first question that arises in your mind will be whether or not it is easier to conceive the second time than the first. If you have had a difficult pregnancy, you are worried, apprehensive and even anxious at the very thought of conceiving the second time.

Sometimes, it has been found that a woman who struggled with conceiving her first child may find that the second pregnancy takes place much more easily. Then again, a few couples who conceived easily during the first time are confronted with greater issues once they try for conceiving for the second time. This make us take a critical lesson in human science– one cannot control fertility and also past successes on fertility doesn’t mean or assures a future success for it.

What Is Secondary Infertility?

Secondary infertility is an incapability to conceive a subsequent time after conceiving the first baby without any effort. According to some research that was done in this field, it was found that secondary infertility is much common than primary infertility. Which means the range of couples who battle with conceiving the second child is really higher than the range of couples who had a troublesome time getting pregnant the first time.

How Much Should I Wait To Conceive Naturally For The Second Time?

If you plan to expand your family (ideal spacing is around 2 – 3 years), you are not supposed to wait as long as your first pregnancy. Even after trying for around 8 – 12 months, if you are incapable of getting pregnant naturally, then it is advisable to seek medical aids. If you are above 35 years, then seeking medical advice around after trying for 5-6 months is recommended. Thus, the time interval between the first and second conception depends on the age of the couples.

How Does Age Of The Couple Influence The Time Interval Between Two Pregnancies?

Here is how the age affects the second conception:
A lot has changed in this modern age. Most of the ladies now a days are conceiving for the first time around 30 years of age. Due to various personal reasons like career, education, financial securities etc., women tend to marry late and then start their families late. Though it is justified, the fact that your body begins to take a downward turn cannot be ignored. If you had your first baby in early 30’s, naturally the second conception will be planned around 34 years. (How should you space your pregnancies?) Only 12% of eggs are left with the women at the age of 30. Once the age increases, the eggs left will obviously decrease more and by the time you hit your 40’s, the eggs are only 3%. It is harder to conceive the second time around if you are in your late 30’s or early 40’s. The number of healthy sperms from the side of your partner will also get reduced as the age progresses. All these are the primary factors that hinder with the second conception.
Second pregnancy
Generally, couples are observed to follow a ‘wait and see’ perspective. But, this often makes the untreated issues become untreatable issues.This is because waiting also means that you can develop medical issues like fibroids that didn’t show up before. Read more on age and fertility.

What Causes Secondary Infertility?

There are several issues that can be developed in the course of the first delivery or after the first delivery which may hinder the ability to conceive the second time. Some conditions that (may be) present during the first pregnancy which did not hinder with the fertility and successful delivery can get worsen in due course of time. The issues may be in the male or female or both.
Factors affecting men’s fertility potentials are:

  • Drinking alcohol and smoking habits can hinder with the health of the sperms more as the age progresses
  • Certain medicines taken for chronic illness can hinder the health and numbers of the sperm produced
  • Diabetes and hyper tension can affect the quantity and quality of the sperms
  • Varicoceles, enlarged vein in testis, can hinder with sperm production

Some of the factors affecting female fertility potentials are:

  • Endometriosis: This is one of the most common factors that make conceiving difficult for the second time. In this condition, the lining of uterus – endometrium grows in other places like ovaries, fallopian tube, or pelvis. Unlike the lining of the uterus, the lining in the other parts, when breaks down during menstruation, can’t find its way to eliminating from the body. This end in forming cysts or blocks hindering the fertility
  • Uterine fibroids: Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that grow in the wall of the uterus or outside or inside the cavity of the uterus. The fibroid can develop at any point ina women’s life. They may be absent during your first pregnancy but can develop during the interval period. Uterine fibroid makes the women unable to conceive or if the woman was able to conceive, can end up in miscarriage
  • Irregular ovulation: The ovulationmay get affected due to some health issues that may occur after the first delivery or there is a natural decline which occurs to the fertility cycle in the course of time
  • Hidden scar tissues: Untreated infections from the previous delivery can leave abnormal tissues in the uterus. These adhesions can hinder with the implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus
  • Psychological factors: The stress and strains thatoccur during rising the first baby (if you didn’t get enough help) or that happens due to your professional life can hinder with the ovulation and sperm production
  • Life style issues: Issues like obesity, smoking, drinking alcohol etc. when rebound to the life style of the woman after the first delivery can interfere with the fertility of the woman

Can I Cconceive The Second Child Naturally After IVF For First?

Experts say, even though it is very rare to conceive naturally the second time when the first pregnancy occurred after an IVF procedure, it is not completely impossible. The success rate also depends on the reasons you went for IVF for your first pregnancy. A study is published in a journal called ‘fertility and sterility’. It says that examining a group of Japanese women who used IVF to conceive their first child, 20 % conceived second time without the help of any fertility treatment.

What Makes My Second Pregnancy Easier After I Struggled For The First One?

This can occur due to various psychological and physical reasons:

  • You obviously try to get pregnant the second time with less or no emotional stress at all
  • Some hormones associated with your first pregnancy can help with your second pregnancy
  • Some physical factors that hinder with your first pregnancy (like adhesion of the fallopian tube) can correct automatically during the gestation period and delivery time of your first pregnancy

What If I Don’t Conceive Naturally The Second Time?

After trying unsuccessfully for around six months to conceive naturally, it is preferable to seek medical help as soon as possible. The treatment entirely depends on the reason that hinders the pregnancy. Endometriosis could be corrected with a laparoscopic treatment, stimulating ovaries to produce more eggs etc. are some of the treatments. If the other treatment doesn’t help to conceive then the doctors may advice for IVF or other infertility treatments.