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Unexplained Infertility

Unexplained infertility occurs when no cause is found for a couple’s inability to conceive. About 10 percent of infertile couples suffer from unexplained infertility. The good news is that couples with unexplained infertility have a 50 percent chance of getting pregnant naturally within a year following diagnosis.

Our Fertility Specialist conducts a full evaluation to determine what may be hindering pregnancy after an initial consultation. We are happy to help patients try the best possible ways to build their families.

Unexplained infertility doesn’t mean there’s no solution. In fact, there is hope. The chance of conceiving naturally after unexplained infertility is reduced for the following groups of women:

  • Those over the age of 35 years
  • Those who have never been pregnant before
  • Those who have been trying to conceive for over three years

It may comfort you to know that women in the above groups do, on occasion, spontaneously conceive on their own.

Typically, when you can’t get pregnant, the first step is fertility testing. Then, once a cause (or causes) is found, appropriate treatment is pursued.

When should you see a fertility specialist?

The diagnosis of infertility is sometimes harsh. We at Footsteps to Fertility Centre, prefer to say subfertility because once we have a diagnosis most couples will conceive if afforded the right treatment plan.

A diagnosis of subfertility generally occurs after a couple (with the female being under 35 years) has been trying to conceive for over one year with no success.

For couples where the woman is 35 years or older, subfertility is diagnosed after they’ve been trying unsuccessfully for 6 months.

If you have been trying to get pregnant for six months or more, you may want to meet with a fertility specialist, a  reproductive endocrinologist (RE), or a Reproductive medicine specialist (RM).

At Footsteps To Fertility Centre, we do a thorough fertility assessment. The workup starts with a consultation to determine the cause and where attention needs to be given.

After this, we carry out investigations which include testing of your hormones, ovulatory cycles and the female pelvic structure. We even carry out tests of your partner for the assessment of male factor fertility-related issues (semen analysis).

When choosing a fertility doctor, know that not all OB/GYNs specialize in testing for infertility.


Treatment for unexplained infertility

There are a number of avenues you can explore to help you get pregnant with unexplained infertility, including:
  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI): Intrauterine insemination, also known as artificial insemination, injects specially washed sperm directly into the uterus at the precise timing of ovulation. This increases the chances of successful fertilization by getting the best quality and quantity of sperm directly where it needs to be. Couples often try this procedure because it isn’t as expensive and time-consuming as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
  • Fertility drugs: Even though there may not be a documented issue with ovulation, doctors sometimes prescribe fertility medications that induce ovulation. Examples include Clomiphene citrate (Clomid), gonadotropins, or FSH. A downside is that these drugs can increase your chances of having twins or multiples. Some of these fertility drugs may be used in conjunction with IUI or other ART.
  • In vitro fertilization (IVF): In vitro fertilization involves egg retrieval, fertilizing the egg with sperm in a lab setting, and transferring the resulting embryo(s) back into the uterus.
  • Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): Commonly used with IVF, during ICSI a single sperm is injected into a mature egg in a lab and the embryo is then transferred to the uterus.

Dealing with the Frustration of Unexplained Infertility

When patients receive a diagnosis of unexplained infertility, they often feel discouraged.

With unexplained infertility, it does not mean there is no problem conceiving, only that no specific issue was identified in the fertility tests.

We understand that it can feel especially frustrating to receive a diagnosis of unexplained infertility, and the team at Footsteps To Fertility Centre in Kenya helps our patients manage the stress.

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