Why Can't I Get Pregnant? Unexplained Infertility Explained
Unexplained Infertility (UI), also known as Idiopathic Infertility can be a confusing diagnosis. It can lead people who are having trouble conceiving to think that that they should just keep trying and not seek medical attention.
Unexplained Infertility Diagnosis
The diagnosis of Unexplained Infertility is based on not being able to identify any discernible problems in the reproductive system, maybe leaving you thinking "why can't I get pregnant?"
All fertility tests will come back within the normal range with UI. Hormone levels for the woman (estradiol, progesterone, FSH, AMH) will be just as they should be. The uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries will appear normal and healthy. All endocrine functions will show that there are no abnormalities.
For the male, the Semen Analysis (SA) will show that motility, mobility and morphology of the sperm all look normal and appropriate.
A few key aspects to understand UI. While these are generally agreed upon points, the only way to understand your medical condition and your possibility of becoming pregnant is by seeing a fertility specialist (board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist).
Unexplained Infertility Explained
– There is a good probability with UI of a successful pregnancy
– If you are a woman, are over 40, with either a low AMH (Anti Mullerian Hormone) or a high FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone), those are factors that can contribute to Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) which is not the same as UI.
– While you may not have answers as to precisely what is causing the delay in pregnancy, the treatment for UI is often the same as with an identifiable diagnosis. IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) or IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) are both used to treat UI.
– If you are feeling frustration by the lack of answers that a diagnosis brings, you are not alone. UI can be a difficult diagnosis because there is that temptation to think that everything is fine. Remember, with a normally fertile person, it will take only one year of an egg being exposed to sperm to become pregnant. If you are over 35, the recommendation is to wait only six months before seeking help. If you are single or in a same-sex relationship, you will need extra help as you will need the sex cell (egg or sperm) that you do not have.
– You can menstruate and ovulate and also have UI.
– Being healthy, strong and fit are good indicators of general health but not necessarily indicative of reproductive health.
– Have an annual checkup with your gynecologist, if you're a woman, and ask questions about fertility. Let your doctor know that you are interested in becoming pregnant and if it's taking longer than one year, ask for a referral to a fertility specialist.
Treatment for Unexplained Infertility is available, regardless of the lack of concrete answers. That's the good news. The possibilities of becoming pregnant with UI is also good news.
Sometimes no news is actually good news.
About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.