If you have been trying to get pregnant for over a year and your fertility expert cannot find any apparent problem with you, you will be given a diagnosis of unexplained infertility. Unexplained infertility is often controversial as it is diagnosed by the process of elimination. This diagnosis does not tell you the cause of your infertility, instead, it tells you what might not be the cause. A diagnosis of unexplained fertility does not mean that you cannot have a child. Many couples diagnosed with unexplained infertility have gone on to have children naturally or through fertility treatments.
Before diagnosing a couple with unexplained infertility, they are both thoroughly examined and put through a complex fertility evaluation. A diagnosis of unexplained fertility is given if
- A hysteroscopy rules out serious uterine fertility issues.
- If the woman is ovulating regularly.
- There is no blockage of the woman’s fallopian tubes and they are healthy. This is evaluated with an HSG.
- If the woman has a good ovarian reserve. Blood count and antral follicle count are used to evaluating the ovarian reserve.
- The sperm analysis of the man is found to be normal. This includes total count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology.
- A laparoscopy may be done to rule out endometriosis at your fertility expert’s discretion.
Why do you have unexplained infertility?
If you have unexplained fertility, it does not mean that you have a mysterious disease. Your infertility is just caused due to something that can’t be explained. Some of the possible causes are-
- Undiagnosed Disease
You may have some diseases or conditions that are undiagnosed. This underlying condition can be reproductive or non-reproductive. Celiac disease, for example, is known to cause infertility in some people. Diabetes, thyroid issues, and auto-immune disorders all can cause infertility in rare cases.
- Mild Endometriosis
Endometriosis can interfere with ovulation and can even block the fallopian tubes. While severe endometriosis can be diagnosed, mild endometriosis may not be as evident. Mild endometriosis commonly allows for ovulation and does not cause blockages. But it is cited as one possible cause for unexplained infertility.
- Hostile Cervical Mucus
When the antibodies in the cervical mucus attempt to destroy the sperms by identifying them as foreign bodies, the condition is called hostile cervical mucus. There is no effective way of diagnosing this problem currently.
- Poor quality of the egg
While the quantity of the egg can be easily determined, there are no tests to determine the quality of the eggs. Age is usually considered to have an idea about the egg quality as the quality of the egg decreases with age. But poor quality eggs can potentially be present in younger women too.
- Poor quality of the sperm
Some types of quality in sperm can be verified like morphology and motility. Abnormal morphology and low motility are easy to diagnose as causes of infertility. But there can be other problems with the sperms that may not be as evident. DNA abnormalities, for example, may not be as evident and may often be the cause of unexplained infertility.
- Nothing may be wrong
Sometimes, there may be nothing wrong. In any given month, a couple has about a 30% chance of conceiving naturally. The odds aren’t 100% for anybody. Couples diagnosed with unexplained infertility can very well go ahead and have babies naturally in the future.