There are lots of confusing words and terminology surrounding pregnancy, fertility, and infertility. After months or years of being unable to conceive, you finally visit a fertility specialist only to be faced with more unknowns. Primary and secondary infertility are terms you may come in contact with during your fertility journey. Many couples trying to conceive for the first time become all too familiar with this term.
Primary and secondary infertility
Primary infertility means that the couple has never had a successful attempt at making a baby. When a couple has never been able to conceive, they are diagnosed with primary infertility.
Secondary infertility is diagnosed when a couple was able to conceive before, but now have problems getting pregnant again. It is the term used for couples who have conceived in the past but are currently having trouble conceiving again. Even if the first pregnancy did not result in a live birth, being able to conceive means there is something working right and that information helps the doctor guide infertility treatment.
If one partnership was able to conceive but a new partner was brought into the equation and fertility resulted, primary infertility could be diagnosed. For instance, if couple A was able to conceive and then the woman is unable to conceive with a new partner, then the couple can be diagnosed with primary infertility.
Talking openly with your doctor
It is essential to be open and honest with your doctor. If there has been a previous pregnancy that was either aborted or lost to miscarriage your fertility doctor needs to know. This event alone can increase the risk of infertility or pregnancy complications. It can also cause damage physically that makes it more difficult to conceive.
Primary infertility is just a term and it will change if the couple is able to conceive just once to secondary infertility.