The cause of infertility is said to be unexplained when there is normal ovulatory function, semen analysis is normal, and tubal patency is established by hysterosalpingography or laparoscopy. Some of the factors that may contribute to the etiologic of unexplained infertility are inability to identify the subtle reproductive abnormalities, endocrine/genetic/immunological disorders, minimal/mild endometriosis, and compromised ovarian and natural fecundability that may be less than normal. Unexplained infertility affects roughly 15 percent of couples seeking fertility help. “Unexplained” does not mean a couple is never going to get pregnant, it just means it’s taking longer than it should and we don’t know why. We review with patients a number of options to improve the chance of pregnancy, going from the simplest to the most complex.
For couples who have been trying to get pregnant for months or even years, an unexplained infertility diagnosis can seem like a double blow–both physically and psychologically. They may be wondering how they will ever conceive if their doctor can’t figure out the cause of their infertility.
Here are several important points about unexplained that should give couples peace of mind.
You’re not alone
Unexplained infertility affects approximately 15 percent of couples. It is defined as the lack of an identified cause for a couple’s inability to conceive after 12 months (or six months for women 35 and older), despite a thorough assessment.
The evaluation will include documentation of:
- tubal potency and a normal uterus
- adequate ovulation
- a normal semen analysis
However, unexplained infertility may reflect small effects from multiple factors. In other words, one or both partners may not have optimal fertility, but this does not show up negatively as part of the fertility workup.
The difference between subfertility and unexplained infertility
The term subfertility can be used interchangeably with unexplained infertility, though they are not necessarily the same. Generally, subfertility means that conception is possible, though maybe challenging to accomplish without assisted reproduction intervention. In general, couples without fertility issues only have a 20 percent chance of conceiving each month; the percentage decreases drastically for those who are sub-fertile or who have unexplained infertility.
There are many treatment options
Though you may not receive an official diagnosis with unexplained infertility, it does not mean that unexplained infertility is untreatable. Most of the patients we see do a combination of oral fertility drugs and intrauterine insemination (IUI). This is an excellent option for many patients. This treatment involves five days of taking a medication. They stimulate ovulation in women who have normal hormones by often leading to more predictable ovulation and multiple eggs being released. This lets to closely monitor ovulation and then perform an IUI at the best possible time. During an IUI, sperm is directly placed into the uterus to help a woman get pregnant. Sometimes sperm have difficulty getting to the uterus, so IUI concentrates the sperm and places sperm closer to the eggs during the time of ovulation, thus increasing the chances of pregnancy.
If that isn’t successful after three or four cycles, we generally recommend IVF. In addition, laparoscopy will be offered to patients with symptoms suggestive of endometriosis or pelvic adhesions.
IVF can be a diagnostic tool
Once a patient undergoes IVF, we might discover factors we didn’t know about previously, such as poor egg quality, embryo development. Having the ability to look at these variables under laboratory conditions can help us assess a reason for infertility.
Optimize your fertility
In addition to standard courses of treatment, many patients feel better emotionally and physically when they take steps to live a healthier and more mindful lifestyle, which may also benefit their fertility. Eating nutritious foods and avoiding unhealthy snacks, exercising, taking yoga and incorporating mind/body techniques can help you feel more in control of a situation that may seem uncontrollable.
Unexplained infertility poses a great challenge to both patients and treating physicians. So, choose the clinic which has qualified and certified working professionals in reproductive medicine. Consult the best team of fertility experts at Ziva Fertility today. Please feel free to contact us at +91 9100009482 or visit our website www.zivafertility.com