Occasionally, David said, the difficulty in conceiving a second time is related to the first pregnancy. "That doesn't happen very often, but in the history-taking from your doctor, you should bring up whether or not you delivered the baby by vaginal delivery or Caesarian section." Women undergoing a C-section, a surgical procedure, have a 10 percent chance of developing scar tissue following the operation, which can make it harder to conceive again, David said. He also said that having a dilation and curettage procedure following a miscarriage can cause scarring on the uterus that might make it harder to conceive again.
Understanding the Pain
Secondary infertility can be very emotional for women experiencing it. Indichova knows first-hand the pain experienced by women having difficulty conceiving again.
"I was feeling all this incredible guilt," she said. "I often felt like I was getting in line for seconds before everybody else got their turn, because I saw there were all these childless couples out there, and here I had this wonderful healthy child, and yet there was this terrible, terrible ache, and longing inside me, that I couldn't change."
Other women in a discussion group she started on secondary infertility said they too felt a longing for a second child.
"I just felt that I could not go on in my life without a second child," said one participant, Eileen. "It was a mission that I was going to work hard and I was going to create a miracle and I found ways of doing it — different ways. I started out really discouraged. The statistics were very, very bleak."
Trying to conceive for the second time is often more stressful than it was the first time around, David said. "Wanting a child is very important, whether you have one child or two at home," he said. "And I think the best person to speak to about the stresses of primary versus secondary infertility are the couples that have been through both."
Back to Life
Indichova said she was initially looking for a fast solution. "I wanted somebody to find that last good egg and to somehow use whatever technique they could do to turn that egg into a baby." But doctors said her hormone levels meant she had no chance of conceiving.
"When I didn't find answers in mainstream medicine, I turned to alternative medicine, and I started searching for answers there," said Indichova. She said that changing her diet helped in the disappearance of chronic symptoms she had suffered for many years, such as rheumatism and sinus headaches.
"First, I eliminated anything that could be possibly harmful, such as caffeine, alcohol, toxins in fruits and vegetables, processed sugar and dairy products," she told ABCNEWS.com. "I was on a modified vegetarian diet, but it's important to mention that everyone's biology is different and a vegetarian diet may not work for everyone."
She found that the answers were just as much about herself as a child. "I had this incredible longing to bring another child into our family, but this longing was also about something else, and I didn't know it then," Indichova said. "This longing was also about bringing myself back to life, parts of me back to life that I have left behind. I think to me, that's the incredible gift of this, is that not only did I get a child, I got me."