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Unexplained infertility, your next step.

Unexplained infertility, your next step

Unexplained infertility is a frustrating condition, as while on the surface everything appears to be normal the couples are still unable to get pregnant naturally. The good news is that there are effective treatments for unexplained infertility that can help one to conceive the child you have been waiting for.

Unexplained infertility gets diagnosed when a couple’s inability to conceive cannot be attributed to any identified cause despite thorough evaluations and standard fertility tests. This condition can be particularly bewildering and stressful because it leaves the couple without a clear direction for treatment. Approximately 15% to 30% of infertile couples are diagnosed with this, which can affect both men and women.

Potential Causes of Unexplained Infertility:

Significant causes of unexplained infertility can vary, as the underlying issues are not visibly evident through conventional testing methods. Some potential causes include:

  1. An Undiagnosed Condition: Occasionally, conditions that impact fertility, such as celiac disease, diabetes, and thyroid disorders, are not initially detected during standard fertility evaluations.
  2. Endometriosis: A condition where there is a growth of uterine tissue outside the uterus, which can interfere with conception even in its milder forms.
  3. Cervical Mucus Issues: The consistency and composition of cervical mucus are crucial for sperm mobility. If the mucus is too thick or contains inhospitable elements, this can impede the sperm’s ability to reach and fertilize the egg.

Although the specific reasons for unexplained infertility are elusive, contributing factors could include environmental and lifestyle components, thyroid imbalances, exposure to toxins, stress levels, and autoimmune conditions, which can all affect fertility in ways that are harder to quantify or detect with the current technology and understanding.

Diagnosis of Unexplained Infertility:

Unexplained infertility is the diagnosis where a couple has been unable to conceive even after a complete investigation of both partners, and there is no identifiable cause for infertility. Below are the steps on how an unexplained infertility gets diagnosed

  1. Medical History and Physical Examination: The initial stage in diagnosing unexplained infertility involves comprehensively scrutinizing the medical history with the physical examination. It aims to point out any potential factors that may increase the chances of being infertile, like underlying conditions, previous surgeries, and lifestyles.
  1. Basic Fertility Testing: Both partners undergo basic fertility testing to assess their reproductive health. For women, this includes blood tests to check hormone levels such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, and anti-Mullerian hormone; assessment of ovulatory function using basal body temperature charting and ovulation predictor kits; ovarian reserve testing via antral follicle count/ovarian ultrasound; while for men it consists of semen analysis that determines sperm count, motility, morphology, and other sperm parameters.
  1. Ovulation Monitoring: Ovulation monitoring involves tracking a woman’s menstrual cycle and monitoring ovulation using basal body temperature charting, ovulation predictor kits, or transvaginal ultrasound. It helps to confirm the timing of ovulation and assess the quality of ovulation.
  1. Evaluation of Uterine Factors: Additional tests are conducted to evaluate uterine factors that may affect fertility, such as uterine fibroids, polyps, or adhesions. It involves transvaginal ultrasound, hysteroscopy, or saline sonohysterography to visualize the uterine cavity and identify any abnormalities.
  1. Evaluation of Tubal Factors: Tubal factors, such as tubal blockages or adhesions, can contribute to infertility. In addition to HSG, other tests such as laparoscopy or hysterosalpingo-contrast sonography (HyCoSy) may be performed to evaluate tubal patency and detect any abnormalities in the fallopian tubes.
  1. Genetic Testing: In some cases, genetic testing is recommended to identify any underlying genetic factors affecting fertility. It includes karyotype analysis, genetic screening for specific conditions, or testing for genetic mutations associated with infertility.
  1. Additional Testing: Depending on the specific conditions of the couple, additional tests or evaluations may be performed to rule out other potential causes of infertility. It includes tests for autoimmune disorders, thyroid function, or other hormonal imbalances that may impact fertility.

If all test results are normal and no specific cause of infertility is identified, then the diagnosis of unexplained infertility is made.

What to do next?

When faced with unexplained infertility, couples are encouraged to adopt healthier lifestyle practices, such as maintaining a suitable weight, abstaining from smoking and limiting alcohol and caffeine intake, improving diet and exercise routines, and ensuring proper intake of necessary supplements like folate and iodine for women.

Treatment options for Unexplained Infertility:

Treatment options vary based on the age of the patients. For individuals under 35, a preferred treatment may be Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), which aims to release multiple eggs to increase the chances of fertilization. If unsuccessful after several attempts, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) may be recommended, which boasts higher pregnancy rates. IVF bypasses many potential obstacles, such as fallopian tubes or egg pickup issues, by placing an embryo directly into the uterus.

Concluding Notes:

Ultimately, despite the challenges of unexplained infertility, there are effective treatment routes available that can assist couples in achieving pregnancy and fulfilling their family-building aspirations. For more information and detailed consultation on Unexplained Infertility diagnosis and treatment, please meet our Fertility specialist doctors at Ovum Fertility at any of our centers at Kalyan Nagar, Banashankari, Hoskote, HSR Layout, Battarahalli, and Hennur.