Understanding Infertility

Unexplained Infertility

In cases of unexplained infertility, a patient has a “normal” infertility work-up, despite having tried unsuccessfully to conceive for six months if she is age 35 or older, or for 12 months if under age 35.

In order to meet this diagnosis, a woman must have regular ovulation, a normal uterine cavity, patent fallopian tubes, a normal semen analysis and appropriate ovarian reserve.

There are likely a multitude of causes for unexplained infertility. In order for a woman to successfully become pregnant in a given month, there are many individual steps that all have to happen correctly. If there is a defect anywhere in this chain of events, then pregnancy will not occur. While standard infertility testing enables us to evaluate many important fertility-related factors, it is not possible to assess every potential issue.

Receiving a diagnosis of unexplained infertility does not mean that there is no fertility problem but rather, that a specific issue is unable to be identified. However, unexplained infertility is a common diagnosis, and generally carries a favorable prognosis. Treatment often begins with oral medications such as clomiphene citrate in conjunction with an intrauterine insemination. If three to six cycles fail to produce a successful pregnancy, then in vitro fertilization (IVF) is considered.