Moving Forward After Unexplained Infertility
For many individuals and couples, having a child can be a challenging process. Infertility is often defined as the inability to conceive after one year of trying to get pregnant. At this point, the logical step for many people is to seek out the help of a fertility specialist in order to uncover what exactly is preventing conception.
There are many diagnostic tests that can be performed on both men and women to help determine the underlying causes of infertility, including hormonal screenings, uterine cavity evaluation, ultrasound imaging, and semen analysis. While these tests typically do reveal some explanation as to why someone is unable to get pregnant, about one in five couples will end up with a diagnosis of unexplained infertility.
Unexplained Infertility Explained
Unexplained infertility is an umbrella diagnosis for when there are no apparent hormonal or reproductive impairments at the root of an individual or couple’s infertility. It is diagnosed after all the fertility tests indicate that your reproductive system is functioning normally. For women, this means that you are ovulating normally and that your ovarian reserves, fallopian tubes, and uterus are healthy. For men, this means that your sperm count, morphology, and motility are normal.
After going through a full fertility evaluation expecting to get some answers, it can be disheartening to receive this diagnosis, especially if you have been trying to conceive for a long time. Moving forward when you don’t know the root cause of your issue can feel like an almost insurmountable task. However, although unexplained infertility is frustrating, it’s important to realize that it doesn’t necessarily mean that your dream of having a child is over.
With the help of assisted reproductive technology, there are a number of treatment options that can help you overcome an unexplained infertility diagnosis. These options include:
- Intrauterine insemination
- In vitro fertilization
- Third-party reproduction (using an egg donor or surrogate)
During this time, it’s imperative that you take care of yourself mentally and emotionally. Many individuals and couples with unexplained infertility report having feelings of loss, grief, and depression. Seeking out the help of a support group or a fertility counselor can help you manage these feelings as you figure out what your next steps are in terms of treatment.