Infertility is defined as the inability to have a baby after at least a year of trying. Those over 35 are diagnosed with infertility after six months of trying. Infertility is more common than many people think, affecting about 10% of all couples.
About one-third of infertility cases are because of the woman, one-third of infertility cases are because of the man, and the last third are either due to both members of the couple or go unexplained.
What is unexplained infertility?
Unexplained fertility is precisely what it sounds like: No clear reason has been identified for why the couple can’t conceive a child.
Common causes of infertility are blocked fallopian tubes or irregular ovulation for a woman and irregular sperm movement or production in men. But in about 15-20% of infertility cases, there is no explanation for the couple’s problems conceiving a baby.
Unexplained infertility treatment options
It can be especially disheartening to receive a diagnosis of unexplained infertility. When fertility specialists are able to pinpoint a cause for the problem, a specific treatment may help remedy that issue.
With no clear cause identified, it may seem hopeless. In reality, however, there are many treatment options for infertility, including unexplained infertility. Treatment options include:
Ovulation tracking and lifestyle changes
A good start to improving your chances of becoming pregnant is to make simple lifestyle changes. Being overweight, drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, smoking or doing recreational drugs may impact your ability to become pregnant.
Cutting back on unhealthy habits combined with following a healthy diet to help you lose weight and tracking your ovulation may improve your chances of conceiving. Tracking your ovulation helps ensure that you can time intercourse just before you ovulate when your fertility is at its peak.
If lifestyle changes fail to produce results, or you already maintain a healthy lifestyle, and you want to take your fertility efforts to the next level, taking drugs such as Clomid® and Menopur® may help.
Ovulation-stimulating drugs can help you release more than one egg during your cycle, which can increase your chances of conceiving. The downside is that it can also increase your chances of conceiving twins.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
Using IUI in combination with ovulation-inducing medication or on its own is another option for infertile couples. In IUI, the man’s sperm is placed inside the woman’s uterus to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tube and, ultimately, fertilize the egg.
In vitro fertilization (IV)
IVF is a costlier, more invasive and time-consuming proposition but also an effective one. With IVF, a woman’s eggs are extracted and combined with a man’s sperm in a laboratory dish. After the woman’s egg is fertilized, an embryo is transferred back into the woman’s uterus.
At Cary OB/GYN, our infertility specialists perform a comprehensive diagnostic exam to help you find the right path for you to conceive.
If you’ve been trying to have a baby for a while and are eager to start a family, call the infertility specialists at Cary OB/GYN with locations in Cary and Morrisville, North Carolina. You can also make an appointment online through this website.