1 in 4 couples who are struggling to conceive are diagnosed with “unexplained infertility”. But what does the condition actually mean and is there a way to treat it? Find out below!
What is unexplained infertility?
Couples are often diagnosed with unexplained infertility if they have been unable to conceive for more than a year, but seem to have normal conditions for fertility, such as good sperm quality, regular ovulation, and no strong infertility symptoms. While there is still a strong possibility that you can become pregnant after receiving this diagnosis, it may be difficult to treat your infertility and identify the underlying cause. It is important to remember that unexplained infertility does not mean that there is no cause for your struggles, but that doctors/experts are unable to determine what the cause actually is.
Possible underlying conditions
Oftentimes, those who initially are said to have unexplained infertility are later diagnosed with other conditions or reproductive problems when seeking treatment.
Mild endometriosis may not be noticeable until you go through infertility. Depending on the severity, endometriosis cysts could disrupt ovulation due to hormonal imbalance and even block some parts of the fallopian tubes.
Poor Egg/Sperm Quality
As your age increases, it is more likely to have lower sperm or egg quality, and children are more likely to have birth defects. IVF is often used to determine egg and sperm quality, although it is difficult to determine in other ways. While some aspects of sperm quality, such as mobility and shape can be examined through semen analysis, is sperm has poorer quality DNA, that can only be analysed through other methods such as IVF.
A healthy, safe vaginal environment is required for sperm to travel up and fertilize the egg before being implanted in the uterus. If antibodies in the cervical mucus attack the sperm and prevent it from reaching an egg, it could cause infertility as well.
How to treat “unexplained infertility”
Lifestyle changes such as daily exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and reducing alcohol, smoking, and caffeine could potentially make you more likely to conceive. Many couples turn to IUI and IVF to help them analyze the causes of infertility in greater detail and are able to conceive as well. Clomid, a commonly prescribed fertility drug, can help with ovulation and sperm production. As always, consult your physician about which treatment options are best for you!