Is It Easier to Get Pregnant the Second Time?

Reviewed on 9/2/2021

Differences between the first and second pregnancy

You might find that you're not getting pregnant quickly the second time. This might be secondary infertility.
You might find that you're not getting pregnant quickly the second time. This might be secondary infertility.

After having your first child, you may have many questions on how the next pregnancy might turn out. Will it be easier or more complicated than the first time? How will it affect your physical and mental state?

The main differences you may notice in your second pregnancy are the symptoms you experience. You may also feel that you know more from your first experience, but it may also feel a bit different.

Below are a few different things you may experience with your second pregnancy:

  • The baby's kicking may start sooner than before. During your second pregnancy, you may notice your baby move in the womb earlier. This is simply because you already know how it felt. It may have taken you some time to notice the first time because you had no idea how it felt.
  • The pregnancy may feel more tiring. Women who are in their second pregnancy tend to feel like their first was easier to carry.
  • You may get more false labor pains (Braxton Hicks). These contractions usually happen to prepare you for actual labor. You may experience more of them during your second pregnancy than you did the first time.
  • You may spend less time in labor (cervical dilation). The process of delivery takes longer during a first pregnancy. The first stage takes around eight hours, and the second stage takes about three. You may take about five hours in the first stage during your second pregnancy and below two hours in the second stage.
  • Morning sickness. If you never experienced morning sickness in your first pregnancy, it may happen in your second.

How long should you wait to get pregnant again?

It is crucial to give your body enough time to recover after your first pregnancy. You should wait for no less than 18 months to carry another pregnancy. That means that your firstborn will be about one and a half years old already. This process is called pregnancy spacing. It reduces chances of complications like premature birth and low birth weight in your second pregnancy.

Effects of a second pregnancy on your firstborn

Most women may not realize this, but carrying a second child may adversely affect the first child. This is because when pregnant with your second child, you may get more tired, less active, and more moody or anxious. Most children between the age of one and a half years and four years will be affected by such behavior from their pregnant mother.

Your child may start getting:

  • Clingy
  • Anxious
  • Tantrums
  • Sleep disturbances

Why you may find it hard to get pregnant the second time

In some cases, you might find that you're not getting pregnant quickly the second time, while you experienced no problems the first time. This might be secondary infertility, which is common. It’s not something to blame yourself for. The issue of infertility may affect both men and women. Keep in mind that if you had a successful first pregnancy, chances are you are going to carry another baby.

If you are experiencing issues getting pregnant the second time, these factors might be the reason why:

  • Age. Women over 35 years of age have a greater chance of experiencing secondary infertility. This is because your eggs reduce as you get older. However, you can still get pregnant.
  • Low sperm count in men. The male’s low sperm count may also lead to secondary infertility. This may be caused by issues like being older, some medications, and testosterone supplements.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is a condition that might cause irregular ovulation due to hormone imbalance.
  • Obesity. Obesity may cause low sperm count in men and disrupt ovulation in women. Those two factors may cause secondary infertility in both men and women.
  • Alcohol and smoking. Drinking alcohol and smoking may lead to fewer chances of conceiving in women and reduce the sperm count in men. These actions also reduce the chances of giving birth to a healthy baby.

Can you have vaginal delivery after a Cesarean section?

The simple answer to this question is yes, it is possible. Most of the women who have undergone a cesarean section procedure have a successful vaginal delivery afterward. However, it also depends on the reason you had the cesarean section in the first place. If you had severe issues with your first pregnancy, you should consult with your doctor or midwife on what's best for you.

To increase your chances of getting pregnant with a second child, it is crucial that you do the necessary planning. Make sure that you and your partner's overall health condition is good. Avoid things like drinking, smoking, bad diet, and bad working conditions. These factors may lead to reduced sperm quality in men, thus standing in the way of you getting pregnant.

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References
Cleveland Clinic: "Secondary Infertility: Why You Might Have Trouble Getting Pregnant Again."

March of Dimes: "HOW LONG SHOULD YOU WAIT BEFORE GETTING PREGNANT AGAIN?"

NCT: "Second pregnancy: how do you feel about doing it all over again?"

NHS: "Planning another pregnancy."

The Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology: "The effects of a mother's second pregnancy on the firstborn child."

Tommy's: "How does a second pregnancy differ from the first?

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