Infertility is a confusing and painful process in and of itself. Dealing with a diagnosis of unexplained infertility can leave you with more questions than answers. Not to mention the angst and frustration that can accompany this particular medical diagnosis. Yet, there are many couples that face the unexplained infertility diagnosis as the reason preventing conception. Navigating this diagnosis and finding what next steps you should take can be tricky. There are some guidelines and options you can follow that you may lead to providing clarity.
Understanding Unexplained Infertility
One of the first and most important processes that must occur during your infertility journey is for you and your partner to receive extensive testing. If you find that after one year of being unsuccessful with conceiving or 6 months of failing to conceive if you’re 35 and greater. You will want to schedule an appointment with your doctor and/or seek the guidance of a fertility expert. Most importantly you and your partner should both undergo testing. Common tests that you can expect to receive during this process are ovulation testing, hysterosalpingography, ovarian reserve testing, pelvic ultrasound, hormone test, blood test.
These tests are designed to detect if the luteinizing hormone (LH) has been released. This typically occurs before the ovary releases an egg. If this hormone is present then you are ovulating normally.
This assessment is a type of X-ray procedure that assesses the health of the reproductive organs and to detect any possible issues.
Ovarian Reserve Testing
This test will provide insight as to the number of eggs you are producing as well as the quality of the eggs that you are producing.
Can detect issues within the uterus and the fallopian tubes.
Hormone Test And Blood Test
Hormone tests will check to ensure that you have healthy levels of reproductive hormones that are needed for ovulation as well as ensure that your hormones are balanced and working the way they should.
Blood tests can also provide insight into hormonal balance and health as well as provide a basic overall assessment of your overall health and well-being.
Common tests that may be administered on your partner are a semen analysis, hormone testing, sperm function tests just to name a few.
Semen samples are analyzed to determine the number of sperm present as well as detect any irregularities regarding the shape and motility of the sperm.
A blood test is administered to determine the levels of testosterone and other vital reproductive hormones that are needed for sperm production.
Sperm Function Testing
These tests are focused on learning more about how sperm survive and perform after ejaculation.
If you feel that your doctor hasn’t performed or gone in depth to research or look into your issues regarding fertility, then it’s time to get a second opinion. More in-depth testing could reveal the true issue affecting your fertility. Never be afraid to get a second opinion.
Both you and your partner should undergo extensive tests to rule out the possibility of obvious health or medical complications that could contribute to your infertility. If your medical professional determines that you have unexplained infertility this may be the time to explore other fertility options and treatments.
Common Treatments for Unexplained Infertility
Your current state of health, commitment to conceiving, unique situation and budget will play a large role in the treatments that your doctor may recommend for you on your fertility journey. Common fertility treatments suggested for couples with unexplained infertility are timed intercourse, clomiphene citrate and intrauterine insemination (IUI), in-vitro fertilization (IVF), as well as lifestyle modifications.
This is a process in which the ovarian cycle is monitored via ultrasound and you have intercourse around the time of ovulation.
Clomiphene Citrate And IUI
Combines fertility drugs with intrauterine insemination. IUI is when concentrated and motile sperm is inserted directly into the uterus.
In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
When undergoing IVF treatment the egg is fertilized by the sperm in a controlled environment and implanted into the uterus.
This involves focusing on creating healthy habits such as improving nutrition and fitness, cutting out smoking and focusing on reaching and maintaining healthy body weight. As well as reducing alcohol and caffeine intake.
Moving Forward On Your Fertility Journey
While a diagnosis of unexplained infertility may seem discouraging and hopeless it’s important to work through your emotions and work on deciding what the next steps of your fertility journey should be. This could take many forms. If you’re not happy with your current doctor to get a second opinion. It may also be in your best interest to seek out a fertility expert that is familiar with working with couples that struggled with an unexplained infertility diagnosis.
Having frank and honest discussions with your partner regarding the budget and the process is also important. It can be an expensive and taxing challenge so making sure that you are both on the same page and that you are both in this for the long haul is crucial for the health of your relationship as well as your mental well-being.
Find ways to work with your partner to improve health and wellness habits. Learn how to track and become aware of your fertility through the fertility awareness method. Track your basal body temperature, take at home ovulation kits, track your cervical mucus and pay attention to other signs of ovulation. This can increase your odds of conception and provide more insight to your doctor.
References And Resources
(1). Female Infertility Diagnosis & Treatment, Mayo Clinic
(2). Male Infertility Diagnosis & Treatment, Mayo Clinic
(3).Clearblue Easy At Home Ovulation Predictor
(4). At Home Digital Basal Body Thermometer & Ovulation Strips