When a couple tries for a year or more to conceive without success, thorough testing is the next step. Both the woman and man are run through a series of checks to confirm that there are no medical reasons preventing pregnancy. Keep in mind that testing doesn’t cover all aspects of fertility, and it’s likely these subtle fertility factors that create issues. At the best of times, there’s only a 1 in 5 chance of achieving fertilization in any menstrual cycle. Unexplained infertility drops this as low as 1 in 10, but this isn’t insurmountable, particularly when the major roadblocks to fertilization are ruled out through testing.
Before an unexplained infertility diagnosis, a couple’s fertility assessment shows:
Frequently, minor lifestyle interventions may improve chances. This could include changes to diet to one that supports fertility, including traditionally healthy foods and preparation methods. Increased activity and exercise is also supportive of fertility efforts. Even a change from briefs to boxers may result in stronger sperm activity. Treatments with minimal interventions are the best place to start, and when these fail, then methods of greater invasiveness and complexity.
Ovulation induction on its own or in conjunction with intrauterine insemination (IUI) is commonly recommended as the first treatment option for couples suffering from unexplained infertility. This locates sperm optimally for fertilization, combined with eggs released through chemical induction to assure optimal timing. However, in vitro fertilization (IVF) can also be the initial treatment option. This places a fertilized embryo into the uterus, using the biological parents as the egg and sperm donors.
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