Infertility in itself is a physically and emotionally challenging problem. But a diagnosis of unexplained infertility can be even more frustrating and difficult to cope with for the majority of couples. Present fertility testing can only detect the major reasons for infertility. Unexplained infertility refers to fertility problems faced by a couple though the male partner has normal sperm and the female partner has open fallopian tubes, ovulates regularly and doesn’t suffer from endometriosis.
Here are 10 frustrating facts that you should know with unexplained fertility:
1. Fact: Out of the total infertility cases, almost 20 to 30 percent of couples are diagnosed with unexplained infertility.
Answer: Conceiving and getting pregnant is a complex process and there might be underlying problems or issues that hinder this process. Unexplained fertility doesn’t mean there are no causes but that these causes have not been identified yet.
2. Fact: According to a meta-analysis of various studies published in PubMed, women suffering from unexplained infertility were diagnosed with Celiac disease two to six times more often than others.
Answer: Out of 623 women with “unexplained infertility,” 20 had Celiac disease. Celiac disease leads to damage to the villi lining the small intestine on consumption of gluten. Similarly, other underlying conditions like thyroid disorders or diabetes can also cause infertility.
3. Fact: Unexplained fertility can be the result of an adverse immunological response in the patient’s body.
Answer: Infertility patients who have certain symptoms like blighted ovum or poor egg production or have immune disorders like arthritis or lupus may suffer from fertility issues due to faulty immunological reactions.
4. Fact: Chronic stress can contribute to unexplained fertility or make the condition worse.
Answer: Stress not only damages mental wellness but keeps the nervous system activated constantly, causes inflammation and disrupts the proper production of hormones. All this can lead to problems in conception. Stress related to diagnosis of infertility can further aggravate the issue and hinder treatment.
5. Fact: Couples with unexplained infertility only have 1 to 4 percent chances of conceiving without treatment at any given cycle as compared to fertile couples who have approximately a 20 percent chance.
Answer: Though the chances are lower, this also shows that fertile couples can face problems with getting pregnant too.
6. Fact: 1 in 10 couples will never have a specific diagnosis for their infertility issues, even after prolonged treatment.
Answer: According to statistics provided by Health Research Funding, one in ten cases of unexplained infertility will not find a definite diagnosis in spite of prolonged fertility treatment.
7. Fact: A large number of couples with unexplained fertility quit treatment prematurely, as per a Netherlands study of 437 couples.
Answer: The research, published in Human Reproduction, Volume 26, Issue 2, states that 104 couples (23.8%) discontinued their fertility treatment prematurely- 26 patients on their doctor’s advice and 78 on their own.
8. Fact: After 3 years of expectant management, female patients with unexplained infertility have a pregnancy rate of about 30 to 60% without intervention.
Answer: Though expectant management involves the least financial expenses, waiting to get pregnant isn’t always the most effective approach for women with unexplained infertility. It is most suitable for young women.
9. Fact: Unexplained infertility leads to In Vitro Fertilization being the most successful option in a lot of cases.
Answer: IVF was found to be effective for couples who are unsuccessful following three cycles of Clomid in a randomized trial of patients with unexplained infertility called FASTT (The Fast Track and Standard Treatment).
10. Fact: A combined therapy of IUI and COH may be needed to increase cycle fecundity in patients with unexplained infertility.
Answer: Health Research Funding also states that an average increase of 10% was found in cycle fecundity after IUI and COH were used with unexplained infertility.
While these facts make unexplained infertility more problematic and frustrating to deal with, there’s no need for despair. You might just need some simple changes and interventions. Consult our expert doctors at Manipal Fertility to get to the root of your fertility problems and conceive successfully.