In an ectopic pregnancy
the developing embryo implants in the wall of one of the fallopian tubes rather than the uterus.Treatment usually involves surgery.
Secondary infertility may be simply due to the fact that the first baby or toddler is often in the parental bed.
If, following treatment for an ectopic pregnancy, one of your fallopian tubes suffers irreversible damage, your chances of conceiving naturally will be reduced. However, provided the remaining fallopian tube is healthy and has full mobility, it can sweep up an egg from the opposite, blocked tube. So, although the risk of a further ectopic pregnancy is increased, with careful early monitoring and scanning, women who conceive following an ectopic pregnancy have every chance of a successful outcome to their next pregnancy.
Can couples have problems conceiving if they already have children pregnancy?
Sometimes, despite having had one or more children, a man or a woman can suffer from what is known as secondary infertility. Often, it is because a new factor has arisen since that person’s child or children were conceived that makes it difficult for pregnancy to happen. It may be an age-related problem (see pages 16-17) or it may be that a couple are in a new relationship and there are children from previous relationships or financial worries that are causing tension and reducing the chances of conceiving. It could even be, quite simply, that there is a toddler who is still sleeping in the parental bed so sex happens much less frequently.
Alternatively, it may be that one partner has developed a medical condition that has affected his or her fertility, such as an underactive thyroid (20), or that trauma following a previous birth is having an impact. Secondary infertility can be caused by a mixture of all these and other reasons (see also Step 3 on male infertility).
All forms of infertility can be extremely upsetting and frustrating and secondary infertility is no exception. Couples are left perplexed and confused about why this should be happening to them, and feel unable to move forward if their plans are centred on adding to their family. They may also find that friends and family are not as sympathetic as they might be.
Even if only one of you already has a child or children, you should both be investigated for infertility and together make any dietary and lifestyle changes that can maximize your chances of conceiving.