If you and your partner have been trying for one year to conceive and you still aren’t pregnant it’s most likely time to see your doctor and get tested for infertility. But what do you do if you’ve both had a few tests and there are still no definite answers as to why you can’t get pregnant? What generally happens is that you’ll be giving a diagnosis of “unexplained infertility.”
What this means is that the tests you’ve been given have been unable to pinpoint exactly what factors can be causing your infertility.
About 20 per cent of those couples who are unable to conceive will be told that there are no conclusive reasons as to why they can’t conceive.
The reason this number is so high is because there are still so many things we don’t know about fertility and why some people just aren’t able to have a baby.
These couples may just be told to keep trying and that maybe eventually they’ll be pregnant. However, at what point do you start to give up hope for having a baby?
Diagnosing the Unexplained
Trying to find a reason for your infertility isn’t an easy process. Most of the time a diagnosis is attempted by excluding certain disorders and factors that can lead to infertility.
Unexplained infertility may be identified if you meet any of the following conditions:
- There is no blockage or scarring of your fallopian tubes.
- You’re menstruation and ovulation cycles are normal.
- You don’t have endometriosis.
- Testing is negative for pelvic adhesions.
- Sperm count and sperm motility are normal.
- Your post-coital testing comes back positive.
In most cases of unexplained infertility the more tests that are performed, the more likely it is that a reason will be found for your inability to conceive.
Make sure that the doctor and/or infertility clinic that you’re dealing with do a thorough job of testing you. At first, it may seem as though there is no end to the different types of tests that are available to determine if you’re fertile or not.
However, many of these tests can be performed at the same time, such as if you’re undergoing a laparoscopy. During a laparoscopic diagnosis, the surgeon will look for several disorders at the same time.
This includes examining for endometriosis, fibroids, polyps, ovarian cysts, and uterine abnormalities.
Routine Tests for Infertility
There are several different tests that you’ll be given to determine the cause of your infertility.
Your doctor will first start with the most conventional infertility tests before moving on to more invasive types of tests.
For women, the more basic tests include a thorough pelvic exam, blood tests to check for hormone imbalances, and ovulation function tests.
For men, the basic testing includes blood tests to check hormone levels and testing for sperm analysis.
Once these tests have been concluded with no definite answer as to why you’re not getting pregnant, you may be referred to a fertility specialist for more complicated tests.
Can a Fertility Specialist Help?
If your doctor is unable to explain your infertility, your next step will be to see a fertility specialist.
At this time you’ll be tested and perhaps retested for the following conditions:
- Premature ageing of the ovaries (POA).
- Tubal diseases.
- Immunological infertility.
Many times the above conditions are hard to diagnose without the help of a specialist and in fact, may be misdiagnosed as “unexplained infertility”.
Can Immune Disorders Affect Fertility?
The body’s immune system protects the body from any invading organisms and cells. When harmful organisms are detected the immune system is responsible for fighting off infections and diseases.
In rare cases of infertility, the immune system becomes confused and can attack your eggs or your partner’s sperm. As this is a very rare diagnosis for infertility it will be one of the last things that your doctor may test you for.
Before accepting that you might actually not be able to explain why you can’t get pregnant, be sure to talk to your doctor about an immune disorder.
The Frustration of Unexplained Infertility
Getting a diagnosis of unexplained infertility can be very frustrating and difficult to deal with.
What can be even more frustrating is that most couples start testing for infertility problems with the expectation that they’ll soon be able to get some answers as to why they’re just not getting pregnant.
If you and your partner have undergone extensive testing and still haven’t found any answers that explain your inability to conceive, it may be time to think about adoption or perhaps surrogacy.
Many times it can be hard to know when it’s time to stop looking for those answers that just aren’t coming.
Without a diagnosis, for your infertility, it can be almost impossible to determine if there any fertility treatments that will help.
Seek counselling at this difficult time in your life so that you can feel more in control for making what may be some very painful decisions.