Primary and secondary infertility types are not new terms in couples struggling with infertility. Due to genetic, psychological or physical issues, a couple may suffer from infertility. Also, infertility cases may affect either a woman or a man, or both partners can be affected.
What is Primary Infertility?
Primary infertility is the commonest form of infertility affecting 45% of reproductive couples. This type of infertility is diagnosed in couples who fail to conceive and produce children once they are married. This type of infertility can affect a female, a male, or both partners.
Normally, couples affected by primary infertility have never had children before or one partner has never had children in life.
Causes of Primary Infertility
The commonest causes of primary infertility in both males and females are;
Blocked Fallopian Tubes
The Fallopian tubes are thin tubes that run from the ovaries to the uterus. In case these tubes are affected by scar tissues, adhesions or damaged due to STDs, they can become blocked leading to female infertility
It is one of the commonest female infertility issues where the uterine lining grows outside on different organs like the ovaries, pelvic region, and the Fallopian tubes. More than 1 million women in India are affected by endometriosis
Irregular Menstrual Periods/Ovulation
Irregular periods that come late or too early or fail to come present a major issue of unpredictable ovulation. You can never know the best period to have sex and conceive since the ovulation cycle is disorganized. In this case, the egg released may also be of poor quality, reducing a woman’s chances of conception. Other infertility causes in woman include;
Premature Ovarian Failure
Infertility Causes in Males
Normally genetic issues and sperm-related problems are the major causes of infertility in males. Sperm related issues may include;
Sperm production or passage issues
Infections, Vasectomy, chromosomal or varicocele are some of the major causes of sperm production and transportation problems
Low Sperm Count
It is a common infertility issue in males where they have less than 15 million sperm per millimeter of semen. Emotional stress, tobacco consumption, drug use among others are the leading causes of low sperm count. Other issues that can lead to male infertility include;
Sperm mobility issues
Sperm DNA fragmentation
This is a form of infertility that occurs in couples after bearing a child or children in the past years, but fail to attain pregnancy in order to expand their family.
Though not mainly a havoc like primary infertility, secondary infertility can cause stress in couples that can lead males to cheat on their partners. The commonest causes of secondary infertility include;
Reduced sperm quality
Diminished ovarian reserve
Many secondary infertility causes align with primary infertility causes and their treatment approaches may not differ
Treatment of Primary & Secondary Infertility Cases
Fertility drugs are the immediate treatment approach to female infertility or therapy to correct hormones (hormone balance). It will also require examinations, blood work, and analysis for both partners to ascertain the cause of infertility
In case a couple fails to conceive naturally, ART treatments such IVF, IUI, and ICSI can be opted for parenthood. Surrogacy can come in as the last resort in case all other treatments bears no fruit.