Have you been trying to get pregnant for a while but haven’t had any luck? Perhaps you’ve taken the brave step to seek help from a fertility clinic, have even had fertility tests, and you’ve been diagnosed with unexplained infertility. This daunting diagnosis may elicit an immediate reaction of shock and disappointment, which is understandable. But what is unexplained infertility? Although it sounds like the end of your conception journey, you may be surprised to know that this is not necessarily the case.
Infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant after one year of having unprotected intercourse. Unexplained infertility is when, after the standard fertility tests (blood tests, medical exam, ultrasounds, and semen analysis), no medical cause for infertility can be identified. In fact, diagnosis is achieved through the exclusion of other conditions.
Unexplained infertility is quite a controversial diagnosis and can cause a lot of stress for those wanting to start or expand their family. After all, you’re being told: “Well, we just don’t know.” Coming to terms with this diagnosis can be difficult and many couples will choose to have counselling to help them work through it.
Can I still get pregnant with unexplained infertility?
Although the word ‘unexplained’ suggests the end of the line for conception, surprisingly, pregnancy rates in couples with unexplained infertility are quite good. This diagnosis doesn’t mean that it’s not possible to conceive, just that the reason for not conceiving so far has not been found. Whilst some couples will go on to become pregnant without the need for any intervention, many couples will opt to seek fertility treatments from the likes of an IVF clinic like fertility-academy.co.uk.
Why? IVF is a popular treatment for those with unexplained infertility because it involves taking the egg and sperm directly from the source. As the egg and sperm are fertilized in the laboratory before being implanted back into the uterus, this bypasses many potential issues with both the male and female reproductive systems. IVF is also popular for individuals and couples who are older and where time is of the essence. As we get older and our fertility diminishes, seeking effective fertility treatment as soon as possible can make all the difference.
How to deal with unexplained infertility
Once you’ve received your diagnosis of unexplained infertility, it’s important to work alongside your fertility doctor to establish a treatment plan based on your medical history and goals.
- Communicate: It’s important to give yourself permission to cry, be angry, and upset. It’s likely these will be just some of the emotions you’ll be feeling. At this difficult time, communication is key for both you and your partner so you can support each other effectively, and establish what support you need moving forward.
- Educate yourselves: Being told there is no medical reason for your infertility can make you feel like nothing can be done. But what you can do is learn all about fertility and what you can do at home to help increase your chances of conception. Even small lifestyle changes will contribute towards making sure your body is in the best possible position to conceive.
- Look after yourself: In times of high stress, it’s more important than ever to look after yourself. Challenging as it may feel, take some time out to spend time with your partner with no expectations, away from the pressures of everyday life.
- Trust your fertility doctor: Lean on your fertility doctor for advice. After all, they deal with this diagnosis all the time. They may suggest further – more advanced – testing to try and pinpoint underlying issues. Their knowledge and expertise will underpin a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs to guide you to the best possible chance of conception success.
How to improve your chances of getting pregnant at home
Sometimes in cases of unexplained infertility, all you require is a little tweaking in your daily life to overcome fertility challenges. A healthy daily routine can be really beneficial when it comes to your fertility. But where to start?
Firstly, focus on your diet. A healthy, balanced diet can replenish your body with the appropriate nutrients. Studies show that a diet high in nutrients such as zinc, folate, protein, and other antioxidants can result in improved fertility, especially for men. Additionally, cutting back on alcohol and smoking can also help.
According to studies, regular physical activity can increase your chances of conception by 15%. It not only helps to maintain a healthy body weight but exercising also reduces stress levels which can improve fertility levels for both partners. Even a small walk during the day can make a difference.
Another missing piece of this puzzle is monitoring your cycle. Keeping yourself in the right shape can only do so much if you are not planning your time for conception. You and your partner need to understand that the menstrual cycle plays a big role in determining when your chances of pregnancy are highest. Having sex during the ovulation window of your cycle can improve your chances of getting pregnant. During this time your body is at its most fertile.
And that’s not the only cycle you need to take care of. There is another one that is overlooked more often than most people realize – the sleep cycle. Good quality sleep helps the body’s recovery from daily stress by inducing recovery. Sleep also helps support your reproductive system to function optimally. It is advised to create a bedtime routine and practice good sleep hygiene by avoiding screens for up to an hour before sleeping.
It’s not the end of the road
It can be hard to stay positive when it feels like your hopes and dreams have been dashed, but remember, an unexplained infertility diagnosis isn’t the end of the road for you and your dreams of starting or expanding your family.