For some women, the inability to conceive children can be a traumatizing realization. Many times, through the advances of science and medicine, they are able to determine the cause of infertility, but unexplained infertility also occurs.
Unexplained infertility is when standard testing cannot determine the proper reasons for failure to conceive. The bottom line to unexplained infertility is simply when doctors can’t figure it out.
However, even if they cannot determine the reason, they can provide alternatives to fertility and reproductive assistance to their patients.
In fact, unexplained infertility is quite common, occurring in about 10% of couples who visit fertility clinics.
A number of tests will be performed to establish a cause for unexplained infertility and it usually done by an exclusion method. It is said to occur even when:
- There is regular ovulation
- The fallopian tubes are open and healthy
- There are no pelvic adhesions
- The woman’s partner has a high sperm count and good sperm health
- There is an absence of endometriosis
- The postcoital test comes out positive
Various tests will be needed to diagnose if a couple has unexplained infertility or not. However, some underlying factors have been shown to contribute to the condition:
- Abnormal fallopian tubes may be an underlying factor, even if the tubes are seen to be open and healthy. Tiny abnormalities can occur that take several tests and quite some time in order to determine.
- Abnormal eggs are another potential reason for unexplained infertility. Even if a woman has thousands of eggs that are good enough for fertilization, they need to be in the proper shape and contain the right chromosomes for successful fertilization. If there is any problem at all with the quality of a woman’s eggs, this will lead to fertility problems.
- The immune system can also have an effect on fertility, and in some cases a body’s immune system can mistakenly kill its own egg cells. It may also occur in men, causing the system to attack sperms cells leading them to stick together and in some cases even die.
- Luteinized Unruptured Follicle Syndrome is another possible cause for unexplained infertility. In this condition the eggs can become trapped in the body’s sac, which has been designed by nature to protect the eggs. This tiny membrane is known as the follicle, which can sometimes trap the egg inside making ovulation impossible.
- Abnormal luteal phase is when the body produces problem levels of progesterone, which is needed to prepare the endometrial lining for implantation. When progesterone is not produced long enough, this can result in unexplained infertility.
- Unexplained infertility can also be caused by an infection, such as when a particle called t-strain mycoplasma hides in the body. It is difficult to determine the presence of this strain because it occurs in very small numbers and are difficult to diagnose.
If you have been diagnosed with this condition, your doctor will help you find a number of options to work through fertility.