Unexplained infertility is the failure to determine a cause of infertility after a thorough evaluation of both the male and female partner. Approximately 10 percent of infertility is unexplained. The evaluation of 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 that may, in fact, document a cause of reproductive inefficiency.
True unexplained infertility may be related to egg and sperm dysfunction, among other causes. These conditions are difficult to establish through conventional testing.
DIAGNOSTIC TESTS FOR UNEXPLAINED INFERTILITY
It is likely that your physician will request that the male partner repeat a semen analysis if an andrology laboratory did not perform a recent analysis. In this way, your physician may establish a diagnosis of male factor infertility through a comprehensive semen analysis or related sperm function testing. Additionally, 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.
TREATMENT FOR UNEXPLAINED INFERTILITY
Our physicians base their treatment recommendations 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 stimulation and a processed sperm specimen for intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). The important difference in treatment options is that we can often maximize the egg and sperm interaction through IVF in order to promote fertilization and establish a successful pregnancy.
Why has my physician ordered a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) when my tubes were open during my laparoscopy?
Tubal disease is a common cause of infertility. During a laparoscopy, we pass dye through the uterus and tubes to confirm patency of the tubes. This test, however, 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 an HSG. Such findings may explain the cause of infertility, as well as direct the therapies that may prove to be most effective.
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