Unexplained Infertility: A Frustrating, Yet Treatable, Diagnosis

Recently, I filmed two videos on unexplained fertility for FertilityAuthority: What Is Unexplained Infertility and How Is Unexplained Infertility Treated? Because unexplained infertility is a very frustrating diagnosis for couples — the fertility doctor is basically saying that he or she can find no defined reason why you’re not achieving a pregnancy — it merits further discussion here.

What Is Unexplained Infertility?

A couple’s diagnosis will be unexplained infertility when they have received normal results from all of the infertility testing procedures a fertility doctor administers. For example, you would have a couple for whom:

  • The woman is clearly ovulating properly
  • The woman’s fallopian tubes are clear and functioning properly
  • The woman’s uterus is normal
  • The woman has no endometriosis or pelvic adhesions
  • The man has normal sperm count and motility

Unexplained infertility is not an unusual diagnosis. Approximately 5 percent of patients receive this diagnosis.

Treatment for Unexplained Infertility Is Available

it is important to understand that even though the fertility doctor may not know the underlying reason for your infertility, treatment is still available. You may want to begin with the least invasive treatment, such as ovulation induction with fertility drugs or intrauterine insemination (IUI); however, numerous studies have shown that in vitro fertilization (IVF) is far and away the best treatment for this diagnosis.

Why is this? There are several reasons:

  • IVF allows us to look at the quality of a woman’s eggs and a man’s sperm, and choose the best of each to create healthy embryos.
  • Through an advanced technique known as intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), we can actually inject a single sperm directly into an individual egg, thus bypassing a number of fertility problems that impede fertilization.
  • With IVF, we are also bypassing a woman’s fallopian tubes, so if it is an unidentified problem in the tubes that is keeping you from getting pregnant, it becomes irrelevant.

We have very good pregnancy rates for IVF with unexplained infertility.  If you have questions, please contact our offices, and we will be happy to answer them!