What steps should I take if I have unexplained infertility?
Real Mom Problem
“We've tried feverishly for two years. Now we are broke, burned out, and feeling very depressed. I feel like a failure as a woman, and as a wife. I'd love to hear that we are not the only healthy couple out there who can't get pregnant, even though there is nothing obviously wrong.”
- 1. Unexplained infertility is the diagnosis given to couples who are unable to conceive after a year of trying, after all other possible explanations for infertility have been ruled out
- 2. Women who have faced similar issues suggest insisting on additional testing, considering IVF, and continuing to try to conceive naturally
- 3. Remember, the answers below are not medical advice and should not be relied on as medical advice or used in lieu of speaking with a medical professional
Real Mom Solutions
Have you been diagnosed with unexplained infertility? Wondering what to do now? See what the women of CafeMom recommend!
Insist on Additional Opinions or Tests
I went unexplained for a long time. It took us four and a half years to conceive our son. When a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) says it's unexplained, I don't believe that. I have done all the tests also, and no one could give me an answer. Finally I went to an RE who does specific testing that most don't do, and voila, an answer. When a healthy couple is trying to conceive a baby and can't, there is ALWAYS a reason!
We were told we had "unexplained infertility" for two and a half years. We had every single test done, and everything came back "normal." I guess there are different types of sperm analysis tests. He had one done at a regular hospital and it came back normal. It wasn't until we saw an RE that they did the "Sperm Wash" and realized that my partner had a low percent of normal morphology. His sperm are the wrong shape!
My hubby and I are trying to conceive and we just found out that he may have sperm agglutination where his body sends antibodies to kill the sperm as soon as they are released. They said this is the cause of a large percentage of unexplained infertility. They say you have to go through a special test to see if this is the problem. It is called an antisperm antibodies test. His is a result of a vasectomy reversal. Other causes in men are surgeries or major trauma and/or injuries to that area. His body could just be dispersing the antibodies "just because," though that is rare.
I think celiac disease can be a cause of unexplained fertility. The good thing is that celiac disease is easily managed by eating a gluten-free diet and after a few months of eating gluten-free, you should be healthy again. Definitely worth asking to be tested for, especially if your infertility is unexplained. I would flat out insist on being tested if you are struggling with infertility.
Consider In Vitro Fertilization
Unexplained infertility is a frustrating diagnosis. My reproductive endocrinologist (RE) said that when infertility is unexplained, they now recommend going straight to IVF, as its success rate is higher than any other treatment.
Some Moms Say Just Keep Trying
After being diagnosed with unexplained infertility, we were given a few months of Clomid, which didn't do anything. Then we were also given trigger shots and intrauterine insemination (IUI)....none that took. Not to bring your hopes way up, but while I was waiting on my injectables with the IUI cycle, we got pregnant! On our own! It was unbelievable! After more than a year-and-a-half of trying. So, just hang in there. You never know when it might happen! If it's "unexplained" as of right now, no need to jump right into IVF. My next suggestion would be to talk to your doctor. I bet they will find a less expensive (and obtrusive) action plan like full injectables with IUI. That's what I was headed towards.
Well if nothing is wrong with you or your husband, wouldn't it make sense to just keep trying naturally? Why bother spending the money on IVF?
Maybe try a different position. I swear my husband and I only get pregnant when we do this.