What is Unexplained Infertility?
It can be frustrating for a couple when they’re trying to conceive and it’s just not happening. If you’re not having any luck at getting pregnant, call Dr. Vicken Sepilian for a consultation. Dr. Sepilian is passionate about helping his patients and their partners fulfill their dreams of becoming parents, and he has offices in Santa Monica and Glendale, California.
How does infertility differ from unexplained infertility?
A diagnosis of infertility means you’ve been trying to become pregnant for one year by having sexual intercourse without using birth control.
A diagnosis of unexplained infertility is made by Dr. Sepilian, after specific tests are performed on you and your partner which are inconclusive -- meaning they all have normal results, and nothing points to the reason as to why you and your partner cannot conceive.
The standard tests the doctor initially runs to determine the possible causes of infertility are:
- Determining if the woman is experiencing ovulation, by running lab tests and taking a verbal history from her
- Conducting a medical test to examine the woman’s fallopian tubes and uterus to look for any abnormalities or blockages. This test is known as a hysterosalpingogram, or HSG for short
- Testing the man’s semen to determine the quantity and quality of the sperm, with a test called a semen analysis
If all these tests come out normal, a diagnosis of unexplained infertility is made.
Is there further testing that can be done if the standard tests are normal?
Yes. Dr. Sepilian may recommend additional tests, depending on your specific situation, including:
- Transvaginal ultrasound
- Testing to determine your ovarian reserve
How is unexplained infertility treated?
There are several treatment options available for patients diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Treatment can include lifestyle changes, medications, and procedural interventions.
Smoking, carrying excess weight, and drinking too much alcohol and caffeine can all make a female less fertile. Lifestyle recommendations are:
- If you’re a smoker, you need to quit.
- If you’re overweight, lose enough weight to bring you to within the normal weight body mass index for your height.
- Reduce your caffeine intake to no more than 250 milligrams per day, which is about two cups of coffee.
- If you drink alcohol, limit your intake to less than four drinks per week.
- Oral medication (fertility pills) called clomiphene citrate, known as CC for short
- Injectable fertility drugs, known as gonadotropins
- Intrauterine insemination, also known as IUI. In this process, the doctor places your partner’s washed sperm directly into your uterus at or near the time of your expected ovulation.
- In vitro fertilization, or IVF. With IVF, the woman’s eggs are stimulated with the use of injectable fertility drugs, then pulled from her during a procedure called transvaginal follicle aspiration. The eggs are then mixed with the man’s sperm in a lab with the goal of fertilization. Once embryos form, they’re transferred to the woman’s uterus, with the hope of achieving a pregnancy.