During 2019, I had three miscarriages. Doctors couldn’t tell us the reason for our losses, and since we had a daughter who had been born in 2017 without complications, we ended up with the diagnosis of unexplained secondary infertility.
According to the World Health Organization defines secondary infertility as “[w]hen a woman is unable to bear a child, either due to the inability to become pregnant or the inability to carry a pregnancy to live birth following either a previous pregnancy or previous ability to carry a pregnancy to a live birth…”
After working with our OBGYN and later our fertility clinic and undergoing more blood draws, tests and procedures than I could count, our diagnosis felt disappointing.
When it comes to infertility, sometimes the mystery of not knowing what is causing the issue is worse than finding out that there actually is something wrong.
Well, because when there’s something wrong, you can at least try and do something about it. However, if you don’t know of any medical issues within your body, you are left to weigh your options in trying again, without any idea if future pregnancies or cycles will have different results.
Our doctor advised us to use IVF to test our embryos prior to implantation to reduce our chances of having another miscarriage, but we opted not to go down that route. Instead, we tried one more time and were able to have our “Rainbow Baby.” However, it could have easily resulted in another loss for us. To this day, we still have no idea what caused our prior losses.
Here are some things that I learned during my diagnosis of unexplained secondary infertility. I hope that by sharing these revelations that you’ll feel less alone.
I Wanted There To Be Something Wrong With Me
As I mentioned above, I was disappointed by the diagnosis of unexplained secondary infertility because it left us with virtually no answers and it would have been better to know that something was wrong because then I thought we could fix it and move on.
I remember telling medical professions that I hoped they would find something in my uterus during my hysteroscopy. That way, I could have a quick in and out surgery and be on my way to having my baby. Alas, there was nothing.
Handling a diagnosis that something was going on in my body that was preventing me from carrying a pregnancy to term would have been easier in most cases than being left with no answers. (Of course, there are definitely things that would have been awful to be diagnosed with.)
Being Left With No Answers Meant Feeling Like I Was In Limbo
When we went to the infertility clinic after our three miscarriages, it wasn’t necessarily to have help getting pregnant at that point. I mostly wanted answers as to why we’d already lost three babies in a single year and to get closure on that experience.
My spouse and I had already made a deal that we wouldn’t try again. (We did though and ended up having our rainbow baby.)
However, going to the fertility clinic didn’t give us any answers. Instead, we were left with the options of trying again (which they thought was more likely to end in miscarriage than not) or do IVF with the hope that testing embryos prior to implantation would help them to result in a healthy pregnancy.
To this day, I don’t have closure or any clue about what happened in the pregnancies between my two children and I probably never will.
I Learned Doctors Don’t Know Everything
Before going through secondary infertility, I thought that doctors knew everything.
Especially when it comes to pregnancy and infertility.
After running every test they could, doctors still had no idea what was going on with my body and/or our pregnancies. They could only advise things that might work.
While many people are able to get a diagnosis for their infertility and are then able to go on to have their babies, some of us never get those answers.
People Don’t Understand What You’re Going Through
Honestly, I think all infertility is isolating and it’s important to find people that understand what you’re going through. (Join our Instagram family for lots of support.)
However, going through unexplained secondary infertility can feel isolating within the infertility community itself. You may feel isolated as others in the community discover their diagnosis and are then able to move onto having a baby. You may feel isolated simply because you have a child already.
The most important thing to know is that you’re not alone, even if it feels like it.
I hope that these revelations helped you feel a little less alone if you’re currently battling your way through unexplained secondary infertility. I’m sending so much love your way and sending all the baby dust.