Are you experiencing infertility but don’t know why? Unexplained infertility means infertility with no known cause and that doctors can’t tell you what is creating this condition at this moment. Considering that fertilization, embryo development, and implantation are highly complex biological processes, it’s understandable that 15% of couples trying to conceive may face some known or unknown barrier.
Most Common Infertility Factors
If you have been trying to conceive without success over at least a year, consider getting an infertility evaluation, especially if you are a woman under age 35 (and after six months if you are over 35). Our reproductive endocrinologists who specialize in infertility are often able to determine what is happening and why. We can review your medical history, provide fertility hormone testing and take vaginal ultrasounds and X-rays as needed. If you are a male, a medical history review with any fertility hormone testing and a semen analysis may help us find answers. Some of the more common causes identified are:
1-Ovarian problems: Anything that involves your ovaries, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
2-Endometriosis (tubal diseases): This involves tissue like your uterine lining developing outside of your uterus, pelvic inflammatory disease, untreated STIs like chlamydia, gonorrhea and fallopian tube obstruction.
3-Fibroids or adenomyosis: These growths in the uterine muscle or your uterine wall lining may lead to blockages in your fallopian tube, miscarriage and preventing a fertilized egg from implanting onto the uterine wall.
4-Thyroid issues or insulin resistance: Doctors can often help you solve these with treatments to support your fertility.
5-Male factor infertility: Fertility treatments like ovulation-inducing medications or assisted reproductive technology can help.
In about 20% of infertility cases, a specific cause can not be established. Sometimes unexplained infertility is the result of less obvious factors but those can lessen your odds of conception. Rest assured, that our specialists have vast amounts of experience with known and unknown infertility cases. Treatments are effective and successful even when the specific cause can not be identified.
Is Pregnancy Possible With Unexplained Infertility?
Absolutely! You can still get pregnant with medical assistance to boost your odds to conceive. Here are two solutions often recommended by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine:
Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
Ideally, you will begin with 3-4 cycles of ovarian stimulation along with intrauterine insemination involving taking medication to induce ovulation (like clomiphene citrate or letrozole). Injecting medications along with intrauterine insemination can also help boost monthly pregnancy rates but be aware that this also results in carrying a twin or a multiple pregnancy.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
If intrauterine insemination doesn’t result in pregnancy and a live birth then in vitro fertilization is an option. This involves artificially fertilizing the retrieved ovaries with sperm to achieve conception. First, injection hormones are given to a woman to boost egg production. We can harvest the eggs using a minor surgery to retrieve the eggs trans-vaginally. Next is fertilization where the egg and sperm are combined in a lab and observed. And finally, your uterus is checked via ultrasound as a small catheter is placed into the uterine cavity through your cervix. The embryo(s) are then inserted into the uterus and you will need to come back in ten days to test for pregnancy.
If you are dealing with unexplained infertility, you may still produce biological children with the help of infertility treatments. Your reproductive goals are important to our Utah Fertility Center team, and we invite you to call 801-785-5100 to schedule a consultation with one of our reproductive specialists at the location nearest you.