Whereas some couples know that low sperm count or poor sperm motility in the man, or blocked falllopian tubes or endometriosis in the woman is to blame for their fertility struggles, approximately one in five couples can’t immediately pinpoint the problem.
In fact, fertility specialists will not be able to pinpoint a cause for infertility in about 10% of all cases despite both partners having undergone a complete fertility work up.
There are many reasons for infertility. Perhaps a healthy egg is not always released, your fallopian tube doesn’t always transport the egg properly, or perhaps the sperm doesn’t always fertilize the egg so that a healthy embryo can be formed.
Although among fertile couples the average chance of getting pregnant on your own during any given menstrual cycle is 20%, patients with unexplained infertility have only a 1-4% chance without treatment. Advanced age, like trying to get pregnant over 40 doesn’t help.
Though it can be a frustrating diagnosis, a reproductive endocrinologist-infertility specialist is often able to help in the majority of instances of unexplained infertility by increasing the number of eggs you release through use of fertility drugs (ovulation induction). We can also increase the number of sperm that meet your eggs, through artificial insemination (also referred to as intrauterine insemination, or IUI).
Treatment plans may begin with artificial insemination, but oftentimes will lead to In Vitro Fertilization because IVF can often reveal subtle infertility factors, such as fertilization or embryo development issues. In this way, IVF can be diagnostic while also giving the patient improved chances at becoming pregnant.
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