26 Aug Unexplained Infertility: Can I Still Get Pregnant?
After 12 months of unsuccessful pregnancy attempts at home (six months if you are 35 years or older), you head to a fertility center for a diagnosis. Basic diagnostic tests complete, you are called in to hear your official infertility diagnosis, and the verdict is – – – – – – – “Unexplained Infertility.” This is the case in roughly 15% to 25% of couples wanting to know why they’re not conceiving.
Talk about frustrating, right?
It is Possible to Conceive with an Unexplained Infertility (UI)
The good news is that many couples (between 30% and 50%) get pregnant at home, naturally, within another 12-months of their UI diagnosis. An oral fertility medicine and serious attention to your fertility window may boost you into this category. We recommend reading:
If that doesn’t work, or you are 36-years or older, it is essential to find a fertility specialist who goes beyond the normal diagnostic tests and is willing to work with you to address potential underlying causes to hone in on the right fertility treatment combination for you.
History or UI Diagnoses
Historically, the diagnosis of “Unexplained Infertility” is based on three criteria:
- Semen analysis
- Tubal and uterine patency (whether the tubes are blocked or not, and whether the anatomy of the uterus supports implantation and a healthy, full-term pregnancy)
If the doctor feels everything is healthy in those departments, you are moved into the UI bracket. Of course, what this really means is: “there is a reason you’re infertility, we simply don’t know what that reason is.” To treat UI, physicians have opted for a fairly standard protocol that moves from the least invasive and most affordable treatments first, escalating treatments over time.
So, most patients with UI are treated first with ovarian stimulating medications (OS), then they move on to the combination of OS and intrauterine insemination (IUI). If that isn’t successful, the treatment escalates to in vitro fertilization (IVF), which may also include intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) where we manually inject washed sperm into the eggs in the embryology lab.
What You Really Need to Increase Chances of Pregnancy with UI
The above model leaves so many stones unturned. Human health and wellbeing, and related fertility, is incredibly complex. The body’s systems are so interwoven that couples with UI must seek assistance from fertility specialists who delve deeper into these systems and have higher-than-average fertility treatment success rates for women and couples with UI.
Your fertility specialist should be looking for other causes of UI, which includes:
A complete battery of infertility diagnostic screenings
The physician should be using every diagnostic tool in his/her kit to find underlying or hidden causes. In addition to the typical tests we mentioned above (semen, ovulation, and tubal analysis), we evaluate:
- Hormone balance
- Post coital tests evaluating at how sperm interacts with vaginal secretions and the cervix
- Male factor analysis and therapy, which goes beyond the sperm and takes a closer look at the male reproductive anatomy in case defects, scarring, hormone imbalance, etc. may pose complications
- Endometrial biopsy, allowing us to see whether the endometrium is the right thickness and hormonally ready for implantation and to support and nourish fetal development
- Diagnostic laparoscopy to identify endometriosis or other unseen factors preventing ovulation conception or successful implantation
- Immunological testing and therapy, which identifies whether the mother’s immune system is attacking sperm, a fertilize egg, and/or a newly implanted embryo
- Immunobead binding. Some men and women’s bodies bind substances to the sperm, which inhibits its ability to function normally or kills it altogether
- Preconception genetic screening that determines whether you and/or your partner are carrying chromosomal/genetic abnormalities compromising conception or a health, full-term pregnancy
- Lifestyle factors. Weight, sleep habits, stress levels, diet, medications, smoking/alcohol/drug use, etc.), all of which are proven to impact fertility
This comprehensive diagnostic approach is imperative for couples with UI. Without a full micro- and macro- view, it is impossible to make informed choices about personalized treatment options. While you may still get pregnant with unexplained infertility, it requires the experienced and comprehensive approach from.
Contact us here at the Fertility Center of Dallas. We have remained at the cutting edge of reproductive technology from the beginning, and our team has unrivaled success at treating patients with UI.