Unexplained Infertility is the failure to determine a cause of infertility after a thorough evaluation of both the male and female partner.
Approximately 10% of infertility is unexplained. The evaluation of such a couple begins with a comprehensive review of all testing and treatment performed to date. It is not uncommon to uncover evidence within this past evaluation which may in fact document a cause of reproductive inefficiency.
A diagnosis of unexplained infertility is not accurate unless a laparoscopy has been performed. In this way conditions such as endometriosis and pelvic scarring are ruled out.
True unexplained infertility may be related to egg and sperm dysfunction, among other causes. These conditions are difficult to establish through conventional testing. However, many such conditions can be successfully and safely treated through in vitro fertilization or related techniques.
Q What testing may be recommended or repeated in order to plan treatment?
A It is likely that your physician will request the male partner repeat a semen analysis if an andrology laboratory did not perform a recent analysis. In this way, a diagnosis of male factor infertility may be established through a comprehensive semen analysis or related sperm function testing.
Q Why has my physician ordered a hysterosalpingogram (an x-ray of the uterus and tubes) when the fallopian tubes were open at laparoscopy?
A Tubal infertility is a common cause of infertility. At laparoscopy, dye is passed through the uterus and tubes to confirm patency of tubes. This test does not evaluate the cavity of the uterus or the inside of the fallopian tubes. Scarring of the tubes or abnormalities of the uterine cavity are two of the more common findings identified by a hysterosalpingogram. Such findings may both explain infertility and direct therapy.
Q What are some of the treatment options available for unexplained infertility?
A Treatment decisions are based on a number of factors. These include the age of the female partner, the duration of infertility, a working diagnosis of the problem and the desires of the couple.
Treatment options may include, controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and a processed sperm specimen for intrauterine insemination, or in vitro fertilization. The important difference being that through in vitro fertilization egg and sperm interaction can be maximized in order to promote fertilization and establish a successful pregnancy.
For more information on unexplained infertility, please call 1-888-761-1967 or schedule an appointment for an initial consultation with one of our physicians.