The Today Show’s meteorologist and third-hour co-host Dylan Dreyer recently announced that she was expecting baby no. 2.
But her journey, she told viewers, wasn’t without plenty of emotions. Dreyer experienced what’s called “secondary infertility,” where myriad reasons prevent a woman from conceiving or carrying a baby despite having one child already.
She and husband Brian Fichera share 2-year-old Calvin, but were having trouble conceiving again and were planning to try in vitro fertilization.
If you haven’t heard of secondary infertility, you’re not alone.
The cause of secondary infertility isn’t fully known, but experts believe it shares many similarities with primary infertility.
“The lab work for secondary infertility is the same as with any other diagnostics,” said Laurie McKechnie, a family nurse practitioner at Lynn Women’s Health. “It’s important to look at overall health — weight, diet, exercise — and make any lifestyle changes that could improve health.”
Some of these factors include quitting smoking, drugs and minimal alcohol use, along with ways to decrease stress.
“A thorough look at a woman’s gynecological history is important,” she said.
Some causes of secondary infertility include drinking too much alcohol, low sperm count, excess weight, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and age. These are, however, only a few suspected factors.
Estimates from the National Center for Health Statistics say about 3 million women in the U.S. suffer from secondary infertility.
As with any medical condition, it’s always good to seek professional advice when you first suspect a problem.