Unexplained infertility is when standard infertility testing hasn’t found a cause for infertility.  All the diagnostic tests that were done still don’t reveal any answers to your burning question: why am I not able to have children? 

But this doesn’t mean that you have no options left. You still have reason to hope.   

Possible explanations for diagnosis of unexplained infertility

There could be underlying reasons which doctors will delve into when they cannot find an explanation for infertility. Some of these reasons are explained below:

  • Having an undiagnosed medical condition like diabetes, thyroid disorder, or autoimmune problems could affect fertility.
  • The fallopian tubes which appear patent, could be unhealthy and non functional.
  • Mild endometriosis is not easily diagnosed but can cause scarring or cysts to form that might decrease the chances of conception without any obvious symptoms. 
  • A hostile vaginal environment could be due to the issues with the mucus being too sticky or dry or acidic or due to the presence of antibodies or inflammatory cells which could prevent the sperm from surviving and fertilizing the egg.
  • Poor quality eggs could be due to advanced age or some other reason that is hard to diagnose.
  • Issues with DNA fragmentation in the sperms.
  • There could be issues related to the endometrium that make it hard for embryo implantation.  The endometrial lining has to be a specific thickness for successful implantation for example.

In addition to physiological issues, there are emotional issues at play and even stress can take its toll and make it harder for couples to conceive. Couples may just need to just relax and not be so anxious. And then, there are times when absolutely nothing is wrong and it reminds us all that conception (the power to germinate life) still remains a mystical process which cannot always be controlled.

Treatment for unexplained infertility

When infertility cannot be explained, doctors may ask you to take some of the following steps:

Lifestyle changes. Follow a healthy diet, cut out smoking or excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption, keep a healthy weight, exercise at least 30 minutes each day, and reduce stress.

Timed intercourse to make sure sperm is introduced only when an egg is released.  Timing of intercourse is crucial for conception and doctors can counsel couples on how to calculate the woman’s ovulation so that the intercourse is timed accordingly. 

Use of clomiphene citrate, gonadotropins or other medications to stimulate the ovaries (superovulation) to produce more than one egg

IUI (Intrauterine insemination) is a procedure where the washed sperm is placed right into the uterus around the time of ovulation bypassing the vagina.  Usually IUI is done in conjunction with superovulation for better outcomes.

IVF (In vitro fertilization) is a procedure where healthy sperm is introduced to the egg (retrieved from the woman) in a lab environment, leading to embryo production and this embryo is then transferred back into the uterus for implantation. 

IVF is the most successful treatment for unexplained infertility. IVF can be both diagnostic and therapeutic, because during the IVF process, they may be able to find out the unexplained reason for infertility while also significantly improving chances of pregnancy.  

When endometriosis is minimal without tubal damage, IUI with superovulation may be a reasonable option. For mild endometriosis, surgical removal, using laparoscopic laser treatment, of endometriotic deposits has been shown to be more effective than natural conception. 

In conclusion, a thorough but time-efficient investigation of the infertile couple is needed before the diagnosis of unexplained infertility. It is a diagnosis of elimination because the doctor could not find a specific cause for the failure to conceive. While one doctor may diagnose your case as unexplained, another fertility specialist may say you just haven’t been fully evaluated and this is where Dr.Mamta from Xenith Advanced Fertility Centre comes in.  Dr. Mamta has ensured successful pregnancy outcomes for many patients dealing with unexplained infertility. Just keep in mind that being diagnosed with unexplained infertility doesn’t mean you won’t be able to conceive.  Don’t give up.  Schedule an appointment with Xenith Advanced Fertility Centre if you have any questions regarding unexplained infertility.

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