The Less-Known Pain of Secondary Fertility

Recently my husband and I met a lovely couple from our church and invited their family for dinner. When they arrived we were introducing our children to each other. We have three children and they have two sweet little girls.  Never would I have thought this couple was struggling with infertility. In my narrow mindedness, I assumed only couples who have never been able to conceive would feel the real emotional impact of infertility. I was wrong.

Secondary infertility is defined similarly to primary infertility in that it is diagnosed after one year of trying without success to conceive, the only difference is those diagnosed with secondary infertility have already naturally birthed one or more children.

Mistakingly, somewhere deep inside, I thought secondary infertility would be less emotionally difficult than primarpsi1_1376505cy infertility because the couple has already been able to conceive once and now has a child of their own. However, after speaking with a couple first hand who already has two healthy children, I now know better. A dream is a dream and when that dream is at risk pain is inevitable. Our friends’ dream of a large family is at risk when they have tried without success to conceive a third child. The vision of their complete family has the potential to be incomplete. According to, “The emotional experience of secondary infertility often is a compilation of the distressing feelings of anger, grief, depression, isolation, guilt, jealousy, self-blame, and being out of control. You may feel guilty for experiencing normal grief and worry about how your current emotional state will affect your existing child. The powerlessness to produce a sibling for the existing child often produces feeling of sorrow, as does the inability to perpetuate the parenting role. You may feel distant from friends as those who were a great source of support when parenting the first child are now linking to sensations of pain and jealousy.”

Unfortunately, I don’t think I am the only one who is mistaken.  In the same Resolve article it goes on to say that physicians may downplay the possibility of secondary infertility in their once fertile patients and encourage couples to just “keep on trying”. Couples who experience secondary infertility also seem to experience less social support from others than those who have primary infertility issues, or even criticism from some who think they ought to be grateful enough for the children they already have. (

Sadly, the emotional toll secondary infertility takes is less recognized or acknowledged but has the same impact on couples as the pain of primary infertility. Like I have, would you consider helping support those who are suffering from secondary infertility by possibly changing your thinking or even taking action to be helpful to their cause?

The good news for those suffering any infertility is that ToConceive is a safe and natural way to help you get pregnant. We can provide hope that the dream of parenthood- whether the first time around or not- is a realistic dream! Please visit for the science behind conception and information about our new product.


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