By Kirsten Karchmer

Want to expand your family? Here's the truth about secondary infertility

Secondary infertility is a challenging and often unexpected hurdle for many couples who have previously conceived without difficulty. This condition, defined as the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after previously giving birth, affects a significant number of families. Let's talk about the causes, risk factors, and potential treatments for secondary infertility, and explore how innovative solutions like Conceivable's Kirsten AI can support your journey to parenthood.

Understanding Secondary Infertility

What is Secondary Infertility?

Secondary infertility occurs when a couple is unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after previously having a child. It is as common as primary infertility and can be equally distressing. According to the Cleveland Clinic, secondary infertility affects about 11% of couples in the United States.

Causes of Secondary Infertility

Secondary infertility can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
  • Age: Women's fertility declines with age, particularly after 35, due to a decrease in the number and quality of eggs.
  • Ovulation Disorders: Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) can disrupt ovulation.
  • Uterine or Fallopian Tube Problems: Blockages, scarring from previous surgeries (like C-sections), or conditions such as endometriosis can impact fertility.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Obesity, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption can negatively affect fertility.
  • Male Factors: Issues such as low sperm count, poor sperm quality, and hormonal imbalances can also contribute to secondary infertility.
  • Exhaustion: The physical toll of pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, and raising children while working can impact fertility.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing secondary infertility typically involves a thorough medical history, physical examinations, and various tests such as semen analysis, blood tests, and ultrasounds.
Treatment options vary based on the underlying cause and may include:
  • Medications: Drugs like Clomid or letrozole to stimulate ovulation.
  • Surgery: Procedures to remove blockages or repair reproductive organs.
  • Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): Techniques such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF).
  • Conceivable's fertility assessment tool: To predict the likelihood of natural conception.

Risk Factors for Secondary Infertility

A recent study conducted at the Reproductive Medicine Center of Tongji Hospital identified several significant risk factors for secondary infertility in women:
  • Age ≥35 years: Older age is associated with a higher risk of infertility.
  • BMI ≥24 kg/m²: Higher body mass index can negatively impact fertility.
  • Irregular Menstruation: Irregular cycles can indicate underlying hormonal issues.
  • History of Induced Abortion or Ectopic Pregnancy: These can cause scarring and other complications.
  • History of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or Endometriosis: Both conditions can lead to scarring and blockages.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): A common hormonal disorder affecting ovulation.

Other Less Discussed Factors from Clinical Experience

  • Fatigue: Associated both with miscarriage and infertility.
  • Scanty Bleeding: Can impact the quality and thickness of your uterine lining.
  • Low Temperatures after Ovulation: Can indicate lower progesterone levels, impacting your ability to get and stay pregnant.

Coping with Secondary Infertility

Dealing with secondary infertility can be emotionally taxing. It's important to seek support from healthcare providers, support groups, and loved ones. Understanding that infertility is not your fault and exploring all available options can help manage the emotional burden.

How Conceivable's Kirsten AI Can Help

Navigating the complexities of secondary infertility can be overwhelming, but innovative solutions like Conceivable's Kirsten AI offer hope and support. Kirsten AI is a personalized fertility coach that helps identify and address the underlying issues impacting your fertility. Here's how she can assist you:
  • Comprehensive Assessment: Kirsten AI analyzes your clinical history, menstrual cycle, diet, sleep, stress levels, and more to create a 360-degree view of your fertility potential.
  • Customized Fertility Plan: Based on your unique data points, Kirsten AI develops a tailored plan with targeted advice and recommendations to optimize your fertility.
  • Ongoing Support: Kirsten AI provides continuous support, helping you track your progress and make necessary adjustments to your plan.
By leveraging advanced AI technology, Conceivable's Kirsten AI empowers you to take control of your fertility journey, offering personalized care and actionable insights to improve your chances of conceiving and carrying a healthy pregnancy.


Secondary infertility is a common yet challenging condition that many couples face. Understanding the causes, risk factors, and treatment options is crucial in navigating this journey. With the support of innovative tools like Conceivable's Kirsten AI, you can gain valuable insights into your fertility and receive personalized guidance to help you achieve your dream of expanding your family. Take control of your fertility journey today and explore the life-changing potential of AI-driven care.


  1. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Secondary Infertility: Causes, Signs, Diagnosis & Treatments. Retrieved from Cleveland Clinic
  2. Mayo Clinic. (n.d.). Secondary infertility: Why does it happen? Retrieved from Mayo Clinic
  3. Penn Medicine. (n.d.). Secondary Infertility. Retrieved from Penn Medicine
  4. WebMD. (2024). What to Know About Secondary Infertility. Retrieved from WebMD
  5. Healthline. (2020). What Is Secondary Infertility? Causes, Statistics, and More. Retrieved from Healthline
  6. Medical News Today. (2022). Secondary infertility: Causes, statistics, treatment options, and more. Retrieved from Medical News Today
  7. NCBI. (2023). Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Techniques. Retrieved from NCBI
  8. Mayo Clinic. (2023). Infertility - Diagnosis and treatment. Retrieved from Mayo Clinic
  9. Nature. (2024). The prospect of artificial intelligence to personalize assisted reproductive technology. ShareRewr

Want to Start Improving Your Fertility?

Meet your new, 100% personalized, available 24/7 fertility coach, Kirsten AI. She will help you identify all of the underlying issues impacting your fertility, make a plan to fix them and support you day in and out on your journey to motherhood.