A Surprising Fertility Diagnosis
Starting a family is a natural step for couples in an ideal world. However, millions of men and women have infertility. Doctors define infertility as the inability to get pregnant naturally after a year of trying. Some of these people receive a further surprise; an unexplained infertility diagnosis. Unexplained infertility can sound confusing and distressing. However, the diagnosis is not the end but the beginning of a journey filled with possibilities.
No real answer
What is unexplained infertility? Doctors conclude when there is no real cause revealed using standard fertility testing. Both men and women struggling to get pregnant must go through fertility testing. Doctors will check physical health, reproductive health, sperm health, and egg quality. If all these tests show no clear issue, the condition is unexplained. Unexplained infertility accounts for about 30% of infertility cases.
Can you treat unexplained infertility?
Unexplained infertility does not mean there is no underlying issue. Sometimes, the causes are negligible and resolve over time. Proper timing along with ovulation kits may help with pregnancy within 1 year. Doctors will also recommend simple lifestyle changes. Losing weight, quitting smoking, and alcohol, and making dietary changes, can improve reproductive health. If these fail, there are medical techniques proven to increase pregnancy chances.
Turning to IUI
Intrauterine insemination, along with hormone medication, is one of the first steps in medical treatment. IUI means a medical professional placing a sperm sample directly into the woman’s uterus. Doctors will prescribe the woman, and sometimes the man, hormone medication. A washed, prepared sperm sample is then used around ovulation. IUI has a success rate of 15-25% but can decrease with age.
The power of ART
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) is the gold standard of fertility treatment. The most popular form is in vitro fertilization (IVF) and involves creating embryos in a fertility lab using egg and sperm samples. A doctor then transfers the healthy embryo with a simple medical procedure. IVF is an intensive, prolonged procedure. However, the outcomes continue to improve with technology.
Donors and surrogates
If IVF happens to fail, there are other options couples can explore. Donor eggs, sperm, and embryos have high success rates. While one or both parents may not have genetic ties, there will be deep biological and social ties. Unexplained infertility can sometimes lead to failed pregnancies and IVF cycles. In that case, couples should consider a surrogate to carry the healthy embryo to term.
Unexplained but not treatable
An unexplained infertility diagnosis is daunting at first. Yet, several patients successfully have children due to the many options available. Start with lifestyle changes and timed intercourse. If this fails, the many forms of medical treatment, including IUI and IVF, can be a game-changer.