Infertility is a heart-wrenching experience for many people, made even more so after undergoing extensive testing only to find out that the cause of your infertility is unknown. This is called unexplained infertility.
At CARE Fertility in Bedford and Fort Worth, Texas, our co-founders, Drs. Kevin and Kathy Doody, understand exactly what you’re going through. But all is not lost. Having unexplained infertility doesn’t mean you can’t grow your family. Here, we help you understand your diagnosis and explain what happens next.
You have unexplained infertility when tests indicate there’s no obvious cause to explain your infertility. This diagnosis is only given when both partners are evaluated for infertility.
For women, the diagnosis may mean the tests didn’t find any abnormalities in the reproductive organs, problems with ovulation, or changes in hormone levels. For men, unexplained infertility means sperm count and health appears normal.
Though it’s not entirely clear how often couples walk away without a clear understanding of why they can’t get pregnant, it’s fairly common, affecting anywhere from 10%-30% of couples who seek help for infertility.
That’s always the question couples want answered when told they have unexplained infertility. Why is it so difficult to get pregnant?
According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, infertility in these cases may occur because of a decrease in egg quality, problems with fallopian tube function, or a decline in sperm function that isn’t easy to diagnose.
However, these are just theories.
Though we may not know what’s causing your infertility, your treatment options aren’t all that different when we do. Our first course of action for unexplained infertility is the use of medications to increase ovulation.
If you can’t get pregnant after three to six cycles of our medical interventions, we move on to assisted reproductive technology (ART). The first step is usually intrauterine insemination (IUI), in which we inject prepared semen into your uterus during ovulation.
If we don’t have success with IUI, we move forward with in vitro fertilization (IVF), where we fertilize the eggs outside the uterus to create the embryo, and then transfer the embryo(s) to your womb to grow.
We also encourage healthy lifestyles when you’re trying to conceive, including eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and finding healthy outlets to manage stress.
Surrogate pregnancy with a gestational carrier is also an option for couples with unexplained infertility. We fertilize eggs — either your eggs or donor eggs — with sperm — either your sperm or donor sperm — outside the body to create the embryo and then place the embryo in the womb of the gestational carrier.
Unexplained infertility doesn’t mean you can’t have children. If you’re struggling with infertility, no matter the cause, we can help. Call the CARE Fertility office near you, or schedule a consultation online today.