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Secondary Infertility

We can help patients move past the challenges of secondary infertility

Secondary infertility, or the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after already having one or more children, is an issue that our Indianapolis fertility doctors know how to treat. Because there are a range of potential causes and solutions to this challenge, our doctors use a variety of tests and fertility treatments to help patients fulfill the dream of having another child.

What are the potential causes of secondary infertility?

When a patient is unable to conceive after already having one or more children, there are two factors that our Indianapolis fertility doctors first consider. Our doctors start by asking the patient whether he or she has a new partner. If this isn’t the case, we test both partners to determine whether they’ve developed fertility challenges since having their last child together.

Fertility challenges that might make it more difficult for a woman to conceive include ovulation disorders, endometriosis, growths in the uterus and an increase in age that reduces the woman’s ovarian reserve (egg supply). For men, the development of issues with the quantity, quality or movement of sperm can affect their fertility.

During a secondary infertility evaluation, we typically review the patients’ medical history. Our doctors will order a physical exam, bloodwork and an ultrasound for women. The man will undergo a semen analysis. In some situations, our doctors will recommend more comprehensive testing.

What are effective treatments to help patients move past fertility barriers?

After determining the potential cause of a patient’s fertility challenges, one of our doctors will recommend a customized treatment plan. There are certain fertility treatments that often lead to a healthy pregnancy for patients facing secondary infertility.

Intrauterine insemination, or IUI. This simple treatment is also known as artificial insemination. It involves the doctor placing sperm from the woman’s partner or a sperm donor into her uterus with a catheter. Leading up to the procedure, the woman tracks her ovulation and then comes to our clinic for the procedure the day after ovulation.

IUI and clomiphene citrate (Clomid). When a woman is having ovulation issues, the doctor may suggest she take Clomid to stimulate ovulation before the IUI.

In vitro fertilization, or IVF. One of the most common fertility treatments is IVF. It consists of the woman taking ovulation induction medications, while receiving regular monitoring at our clinic. After her eggs mature, the doctor retrieves them during a short, outpatient procedure. Next, an embryologist fertilizes the eggs with sperm from the woman’s partner or a donor. The doctor then transfers a resulting embryo to the woman’s uterus. In some situations, the embryologist tests the embryos for chromosomal abnormalities before the transfer.

The combination of comprehensive testing and effective treatments allows our Indianapolis fertility doctors to give patients the best chance of welcoming a sibling for their children. Contact us for more information about our fertility services.