An unexplained infertility diagnosis may be given when tests reveal no apparent medical reason for a patient’s inability to conceive after a year or more of unprotected intercourse. This diagnosis does not necessarily mean you can never conceive. With comprehensive testing, doctors can recommend assisted reproductive technologies and fertility medications to improve your chances of conceiving. Here is more information about unexplained fertility and the potential treatment options:
Understanding Unexplained Infertility
An infertility diagnosis is only conclusive after both partners have undergone fertility tests to check egg and sperm quality and sufficiency. Besides checking ovarian reserves and sperm count, doctors should also rule out the following physiological causes of infertility:
- Ovulation Disorders
- Tubal Blockages
- Hormonal Insufficiencies
Female fertility begins to decline significantly with age, typically starting in the mid-30s. This is because women in this age bracket have lower ovarian reserves. To evaluate ovarian reserves, fertility doctors can use blood tests to check follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and antimullerian hormone (AMH) levels. Low AMH levels and high FSH levels indicate decreased ovarian reserves.
Treatment Options for Unexplained Infertility
Advancements in reproductive medicine have availed several treatment options for infertility. Because fertility doctors cannot always identify a definite cause for infertility, they may recommend any of the treatments below depending on their experience with similar cases and the patient’s medical history:
Fertility doctors may prescribe medications like Clomiphene and gonadotropins to stimulate egg production and ovulation in women and sperm production in men. Providers administer gonadotropins via injection to promote egg production in women. In men, gonadotropin injections stimulate the testes to produce testosterone to improve sperm production.
Clomiphene tablets trigger the pituitary glands to release the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). In women, the GnRH stimulates the production of the follicle-stimulating hormone(FSH) and luteinizing hormone(LH), which trigger the ovaries to produce more eggs. If prescribed for men, the GnRH stimulates testosterone production, which may boost sperm production.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
Specialists may recommend ARTs like intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), and preimplantation genetic testing (PGT), where fertility medication does not suffice. Fertility doctors often try IUI first before attempting other ART procedures. IUI involves injecting washed and concentrated sperm directly into the uterus during ovulation. This procedure enhances the chance of healthy sperm meeting the egg, which increases one’s chances of conception.
IVF involves fertilizing eggs with sperm outside the body and then transferring the resulting embryo into the uterus to grow. Fertility specialists can create many embryos to improve one’s chances of a viable pregnancy. PGT may be performed along with IVF. Doctors use PGT to screen embryos for genetic abnormalities before transferring them into the uterus. This may help to improve patients’ chances of a successful pregnancy.
Silent Factor Testing
Factors such as asymptomatic endometriosis and progesterone resistance can be hard to identify through regular testing. These silent factors may be the culprits when patients have an unexplained infertility diagnosis. Doctors may use a BLC6 test to identify markers that indicate the presence of asymptomatic factors potentially causing unexplained infertility.
The BCL6 test measures the presence of the BCL6 protein in the uterus, a marker for inflammation in the uterine lining caused by endometriosis. The test can also help identify signs of progesterone resistance. This is a leading cause of failed implantation and recurrent pregnancy loss. BCL6 test results give physicians insights into what treatments are more likely to help patients conceive and successfully carry their pregnancy to term.
Improved Chances of Pregnancy After Unexplained Fertility
Comprehensive testing for infertility markers can narrow down possible causes of unexplained infertility. This testing helps fertility doctors develop a precise treatment plan for helping you conceive and carry a pregnancy to term. If you have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, contact your nearest fertility testing facility for comprehensive silent factor testing.