If you are thinking about trying fertility treatments to help you conceive, you will likely undergo a variety of tests to determine the source of your infertility. However, many couples undergo dozens of tests only to come up with few answers.
Known as unexplained infertility, such a situation can often be quite frustrating for everyone involved. Unfortunately, it is quite common and can sometimes hinder the fertility treatment process.
What is Unexplained Infertility?
Unexplained fertility simply means that your health care providers cannot find any medical explanation for why you are having fertility issues.
There are two groups of people who usually get diagnosed with this frustrating problem: those couples who are simply unlucky, and don't have any biological problems interfering with pregnancy; and those couples who do have a medical reason for infertility, but this reason cannot be found due to insufficient medical knowledge or technology.
Whatever group you fall into, a diagnosis of unexplained fertility is sure to be difficult.
How Common is Unexplained Infertility?
Unexplained infertility is actually quite common. Up to 10% of couples who visit a fertility clinic for treatment receive a diagnosis of unexplained fertility. Of course, these rates vary from clinic to clinic, and country to country.
Diagnosising Unexplained Infertility
Diagnosing unexplained infertility is by no means an easy process. It tends to be a diagnosis based on exclusion. Your reproductive endocrinologist will examine you and perform a variety of tests to try to determine exactly what is going on. You may be said to have unexplained fertility if:
- you are ovulating normally
- your fallopian tubes are open and healthy
- you have no pelvic adhesions
- you do not have endometriosis
- your partner has a high sperm count and good sperm motility
- your postcoital test is positive
Your health care provider will also take into account the amount of intercourse you are having and for how long you have been trying to conceive.
Factors Affecting the Unexplained Fertility Diagnosis
A diagnosis of unexplained infertility will have a lot to do with the thoroughness of your health care provider and your fertility clinic. The more tests that are performed, the more likely it will be that a reason for your infertility will be found.
The fewer tests that are performed, the more likely you are to be said to have unexplained infertility.