No Real Answers For Your Infertility
About 12% of American couples struggle with infertility. However, 30% of that number is unexplained. Doctors use the term unexplained infertility when there is no apparent reason why the couple cannot get pregnant. The man has a high sperm count and healthy sperm. The woman has enough ovarian reserve and no reproductive conditions. So what’s the issue? Unexplained infertility can be a frustrating, confusing, and stressful diagnosis. However, there are a few steps to help address the obstacle.
Start digging deeper
The absence of evidence does not mean that there is no problem at all. A primary care doctor may not be equipped to review all the factors that affect infertility. Both parties should consider getting additional health checks with a fertility specialist. For instance, hormones play an essential role in fertility. A thyroid check may reveal a hormone imbalance in both men and women. Other deficiencies, like a lack of vitamin D, can contribute to infertility. From there, couples can start taking the necessary medication or treatment to address the issue.
Assess your environment
While some jobs and daily activities seem harmless, behind the scenes, these actions chip away at fertility health. Some common chemicals and heavy metals can affect fertility. Research has linked pesticides and BPAs found in plastics to a woman’s ability to get pregnant. Heavy metals and compounds like mercury and lead cause reduced fertility in both men and women. These issues are difficult to track with conventional tests. Explain to the doctor any concerns about environmental exposure. Then start taking steps to remove or reduce the vulnerability to the compounds.
Look into sperm health
According to the CDC, among all couples with infertility, 35% of cases are male-related. A simple sperm check on the count, shape, and mobility can make a big difference. However, there may be deeper genetic issues at play. There are additional tests that can reveal critical information. Sperm DNA fragmentation of SDF is a recent test that can show the amount of DNA damage present in sperm. Other genetic conditions, like Kleinfelter’s syndrome, can cause reduced sperm health. With Kleinfelter’s, the man has one or more additional female chromosomes. These tests may be costly or difficult to find. However, the benefits far outweigh the effort.
Turning to IVF
Using in vitro fertilization, doctors can address cases of unexplained infertility. With IVF, a clinic extracts an egg and sperm and creates an embryo. A doctor then implants the embryo into the uterus. IVF has a high success rate for persons with unexplained infertility. The process can even reveal the root cause of infertility. For instance, the clinic may find an issue with the eggs or sperm that was only visible under a microscope.
Family and friends may not be able to understand or empathize with unexplained infertility. A lack of knowledge can be even more stressful. Emotional stress causes increased oxidative stress, which can also contribute to fertility woes. Luckily, there are thousands of men and women who struggle with the same issue. Connecting with like-minded people can help couples navigate the condition and get a genuine listening ear.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Unexplained infertility may sound like an unfortunate diagnosis. However, there are so many factors that affect fertility. Simple laboratory and medical tests may not be able to reveal every issue. Find ways to dig deeper into health and the environment. More importantly, know that there are techniques like IVF that both help with pregnancy and diagnose infertility. Speak with a fertility specialist about any concerns, observations, and possible next steps.