Infertility - or the inability to get pregnant after one year of trying to conceive - is an understandable source of anxiety for many couples. And just as understandably, when couples who want children are having trouble getting pregnant, they want nothing more than an answer and a solution to their struggles. Unfortunately, in some cases, even modern medicine may not be able to give couples the answers they need. Why? Because even today, some fertility issues cannot be identified, resulting in a diagnosis of “unexplained infertility”. The good news? This diagnosis sounds serious, but thanks to the very nature of what we know about unexplained infertility, even it can potentially be overcome!
What Is Unexplained Infertility?
“Unexplained Infertility” is described by some as “a misfortune due to laws of chance or limitations of our knowledge.” The term refers to fertility issues that have a root cause that cannot be diagnosed - meaning that this diagnosis is made only after a couple undergoes multiple doctors appointments that include both basic and in-depth exams, as well as medical assessments of their reproductive health.
If fertility testing reveals no problems with a couple’s sperm or egg health, ability to ovulate or produce sperm, or general issues with the structure and health of the man or woman’s reproductive system, then doctors will deliver an “Unexplained Infertility” diagnosis.
Currently, this diagnosis impacts about 50% for couples with a female partner under age 35, and about 80% by age 40.
Why Does Unexplained Infertility Occur?
The short answer is, it depends. The longer answer is that “unexplained fertility” describes a scenario where the medical testing available to us today cannot see the intricate details and issues that may be affecting a couple’s reproductive system. As a result, the exact causes behind individual cases of unexplained infertility are not always clear - hence the term “unexplained infertility.” However, we do know that many cases of unexplained fertility issues are due to a “combination of one or many inefficiencies in the processes of conception”. And experts have a number of ideas regarding some of the possible problems may be behind this diagnosis.
Eggs and sperm interacting
On the one hand, some couples may be dealing with eggs and sperm that do not interact as they should. For example, a man's sperm may have difficulties fertilizing an egg even if they appear healthy under a microscope. An issue like this, unfortunately, cannot be viewed during fertility testing.
Fertilized egg not responding
On the other hand, couples may be having difficulties maintaining a pregnancy. It's possible that a woman's eggs are being fertilized, but are then experiencing difficulties dividing and growing as healthy embryo cells should. Or, in other cases, it may be that fertilized eggs are having difficulties successfully implanting in the uterine wall.
These are just a couple examples of potential causes behind unexplained infertility. Unfortunately, modern medicine really cannot yet identify the hundreds of possible molecular issues that result in what we currently call unexplained infertility - and these ideas just scratch the surface of potential causes.
What’s To Be Done If You Have An Unexplained Infertility Diagnosis?
The first thing to do is not stress too much. An unexplained infertility diagnosis does not mean your conception efforts need to stop. In fact, the overall success rate in couples with unexplained infertility is quite high, as a large number of couples go on to spontaneously conceive within six to seven years after this diagnosis. Younger couples in particular should not panic and should continue to try to get pregnant, as time and effort is often enough to help them overcome their fertility issues.
In addition to continuing to try to get pregnant, younger couples should take steps to help enhance their fertility. Even addressing a few basic lifestyle factors can in some cases give couples the fertility health boost they need to conceive.
Couples over the age of 35
It’s noteworthy that couples over the age of 35, however, may want to begin to look into fertility tools and treatments to try to help their efforts, as time may not necessarily be on their side. Fortunately, OTC tools such as The Stork OTC and medical fertility treatments can both provide couples in this age bracket with a fighting chance to get pregnant.
Fortunately, with a little patience, and by using the tools available to you OTC or even via your doctor’s office, unexplained infertility doesn’t necessarily need to stop your plans to stop your family. So if you should ever hear these words in your doctor’s office, don’t panic - there is still plenty that can be done to help you overcome it!