Is It Harder to Get Pregnant the Second Time Around?

We consulted with an expert about Kim Kardashian’s recent conception concerns.

Kim Kardashian and husband Kanye West have been working on adding a baby to the family (South West?), but Kim is finding it much harder to get pregnant this time around, she told the DailyMail.com at the E! International Press Junket this past Friday. It begs the question: Is Kimye just having some bad luck, or are sophomore pregnancies really more difficult? 

According to ob-gyn Alyssa Dweck, M.D., Kim’s problem is one plenty of women face. Secondary infertility—a.k.a. trouble conceiving the second time around when you had no issues with the first pregnancy—is more common than primary infertility in women, she says. Here are a few reasons why Kim (and you) might be seeing the delay and what to do to speed things along.

Age
Obviously, time will have passed between trying to get pregnant the first and second time, and Dweck says that when it comes to trying to conceive, time is on none of our sides. “Starting from age 32, fertility begins to decline slightly, then more rapidly by 35,” she says. “At 40, it takes a plunge.” Additionally, with age come certain chronic illnesses that may have gone unnoticed in the previous pregnancy, such as diabetes or thyroid issues, both of which decrease chances of pregnancy. 

Weight Fluctuations 
Whether you packed on the pounds after your first pregnancy or overworked yourself to drop the baby weight and more, drastic weight gain or loss may mess with your hormones—and your pregnancy attempts. Now more than ever, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial to your chances of conceiving. 

Bedroom Behavior Changes 
You may feel like you’re having a ton of sex when you’re actively trying to get pregnant, but there’s a good chance you’re still having less than you did before your first pregnancy. Between having a child at home, time constraints, and fatigue, the numbers might not stack up the way they did when you had an active, child-free sex life. Dweck’s solution? Make having more sex a priority, even if you think you’re having enough.  

Stress
Kim Kardashian expressed her frustration that a second pregnancy was proving so difficult despite the fact that she and Kanye are actively trying, whereas North wasn’t the product of a strict plan. Turns out, trying too hard to get pregnant can kill your chances, due to the mental stress that comes with putting pressure on yourself. “When your stress level is high, your body goes on high alert to prevent you from getting pregnant under stressful circumstances,” says Dweck, noting that meditation and relaxation exercises have been shown to increase fertility. 
 
First Pregnancy Complications 
For example, if you had a C-section delivery with your first child, there’s a chance that some fertility-interfering scar tissue could have developed inside the uterus or outside in the pelvis, says Dweck. 

When to See Your Doctor: So your diet and exercise, sex life, and stress levels are all in check, and you’re still not seeing that little plus sign? If it’s been more than six months, especially if you’re over 35, don’t be afraid to ask for help, says Dweck. “You won’t be the first person to go see their gynecologist to get some assistance in getting pregnant a second time.”

More From Women’s Health
7 Myths About Getting Pregnant
You’re More Fertile Than You Think
How Kim Kardashian Dropped the Baby Weight So Fast

 

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