What is Unexplained Infertility?

Most couples who’ve decided it’s time to add a baby to their family become pregnant within a year. Infertility becomes a consideration if you’ve tried for 12 months and haven’t conceived, which is the case for about 10-15% of couples. If you’re over 35, however, fertility issues become a concern after just six months of trying.

Because correcting or identifying an underlying condition often helps restore your ability to have a baby or determines which fertility treatment to recommend, fertility experts like our providers at OBGYN Care focus first on discovering what’s causing your infertility. This enables them to create an effective treatment plan that helps you build the family you desire.

Even when your provider can’t find an obvious cause, however, you can proceed with fertility treatments that often lead to a healthy pregnancy and delivery. And if you’re over 35, it’s never too early to discuss fertility concerns with your OB/GYN specialist.

What causes infertility?

The list of possible causes of fertility problems is long and can include female issues, male issues, or a combination of both.

A few of the more common female reasons include:

It’s also more difficult to become pregnant when you’re significantly overweight or underweight. Also, while moderate exercise is good for your health, exercising for more than five hours a week at an intense level is known to decrease ovulation (egg production). Stress is another factor that may play a role in your inability to conceive and impact your response to fertility treatments.  

Male infertility issues may include:

Then what is unexplained infertility?

Sometimes fertility testing reveals that a couple’s sperm and egg health are fine. We may not find any overall health issues, hormone imbalances, structural abnormalities, or other conditions that would explain your fertility issues.

Simply put, we can’t find an obvious reason for why you aren’t pregnant yet. When that’s the case, we describe your condition as “unexplained infertility.” About 5-10% of couples having difficulty conceiving are eventually diagnosed with unexplained fertility.

How do you treat unexplained infertility?

Treatments for unexplained infertility are the same as any of the various fertility treatments available to couples today. Which therapy we recommend often depends on your age, how long you’ve been trying to conceive, your overall health, and other life circumstances.

If you’re over 35, when healthy egg production goes on a sharp decline and age-related health risks may increase, we tend to move more quickly toward fertility treatments.  

If you’re under 35, we may recommend you take time to optimize your health with a nutritious diet and appropriate exercise, and that you quit stressing over becoming pregnant. We don’t recommend you quit trying, but many of our patients find themselves delightfully pregnant once they quit worrying about getting there.

If we recommend fertility treatments, they may include:

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