Unexplained infertility might be a hassle when you’re trying to get pregnant. However, there are solutions to help you overcome this obstacle on your fertility journey.
Occasionally, we encounter absolutely baffling problems. Take losing something in your room and not being able to find it for days — truly irritating. Remote control not working? It’ll somehow spring back to life when you smack it. On a more serious note, couples who are trying to conceive (TTC) certainly do not want to face the problem of unexplained infertility.
This potential roadblock in your fertility journey can be highly frustrating. What’s more, if you and your partner have diligently ensured your fertility health is in good condition, facing unexplained infertility can be even more of a head-scratcher.
On the bright side, all isn’t lost. There are solutions to help you overcome unexplained infertility. Here’s all you need to know about this mysterious fertility issue and what you and your partner can do to get past it.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended as medical advice.
What Is Unexplained Infertility: Why Am I Not Getting Pregnant When Everything Is Normal?
Unexplained infertility, aka undiagnosed infertility, is when you and your partner can’t get pregnant after trying for 6-12 months, even though you have no physiological issues with your reproductive system. Feeling puzzled, frustrated, and worried when you can’t get pregnant despite being in the pink of health is natural.
If you or your gynecologist suspect undiagnosed infertility, you and your S.O. likely have to go for relevant tests to confirm it. Once officially diagnosed, your healthcare provider will recommend the right treatments and tools, like fertility aids — more on that later.
Researchers still can’t identify the causes of unexplained infertility, making it harder to treat an already obscure fertility issue. Hence the term “unexplained infertility.”
How Common Is Unexplained Infertility?
Often, infertility can be traced back to fertility issues like oligospermia (low sperm count) or endometriosis. This makes it easier for your primary care physician or gynecologist to recommend specific treatments and lifestyle changes.
However, in the case of unexplained infertility, medical experts usually jump straight to course correction. It’s more realistic to try to solve the problem instead of understanding the whys and hows behind it. After all, the biological clock is ticking.
If you’re dealing with undiagnosed infertility, know you’re not alone. Roughly 15% of all infertile couples in the U.S. suffer from this type of infertility. On a global scale, the statistic increases to 30%.
How Do You Know If You Have Unexplained Infertility?
It might be hard to pinpoint the exact causes of unexplained infertility, but there are three ways for you and your partner to find out if you have it:
1. Suffering From the Common Symptoms of Unexplained Infertility
The most common symptom of unexplained infertility is the failure to get pregnant after trying for an extended period, even though both parties are seemingly fertile.
- For couples below 35 years old: TTC >12 months
- For couples above 35 years old: TTC > 6 months
The definition of “seemingly fertile” would mean meeting reproductive benchmarks like:
- Normal semen concentration
- Regular ovulation (check out our guide on using basal body temperature charts for tracking your ovulation!)
- Healthy fallopian tubes
2. Receiving an Official Diagnosis
The other way to be absolutely sure you and your TTC partner don’t have unexplained infertility is to go for relevant tests:
- For people who ejaculate: Semen analysis, hormone tests, and other assessments as needed.
- For people who ovulate: Hormone tests, ultrasounds, and other assessments as needed.
As you’ll have to do several tests, the medical expenses can quickly pile up. For affordable alternatives, let at-home tests be the first-line screening in the privacy and comfort of your own home.
The twoplus Sperm Count Test Kit is an easy-to-use at-home sperm test kit. It indicates if your sperm concentration is at least 15 million sperm per milliliter.
For the fairer sex, our Hormone Test Kit can help, as it tests for key fertility hormones like:
- Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH)
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
For more details, read our guide on the twoplus Hormone Test Kit.
At-home tests aren’t a complete substitute for comprehensive fertility check-ups. If you’re still concerned about your fertility health after checking it at home, book an appointment with your healthcare provider for an official diagnosis.
3. Other Contributing Factors (Lifestyle, Age, Etc.)
Unexplained infertility could be due to other factors, primarily your lifestyle habits and age.
Take smoking, for instance. A study found that men who smoked more than 20 cigarettes daily had a sperm concentration that was 19% lower than non-smokers.
Growing older also dampens one’s fertility levels, especially for women-identified folks.
Research shows that female fertility starts declining in the late 20s; the rate of decline accelerates after 35. By age 40, female fertility is less than 5% every ovulation cycle compared to 25-30% when you’re in your 20s.
How to Get Pregnant With Unexplained Infertility
While it’s challenging, getting pregnant with unexplained infertility is still possible.
To maximize your chances of success, any medical expert will likely recommend you start with a healthy lifestyle. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to make positive changes such as quitting cigarettes or eating a healthier diet. (Read our post on the 8 best foods for female and male fertility.)
Besides lifestyle changes, you might be wondering, “What is the best treatment for unexplained infertility?” Scroll on to the next section for answers to your most pressing question.
1. Controlled Ovarian Stimulation (COS)
Not to be confused with controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH), COS involves taking medicine like clomiphene or letrozole to induce ovulation. Such medications can be taken orally or via an injection. Interestingly, scientific data found that injectable medication produced higher pregnancy rates.
On its own, COS may help couples experiencing unexplained infertility, especially if you’re under 35 years old or had TTC for less than a year.
For those who have tried for longer than 12 months, your doctor may recommend COS to be used with certain forms of ART to boost your chances of pregnancy — more on that in the next section.
2. Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
ART is an umbrella term for in-clinic medical procedures that help address infertility. There are different forms of ART, such as:
- Intravaginal insemination: A DIY process that uses a self-insemination syringe to inject ejaculated or donated sperm into the vaginal tract.
- Intrauterine insemination: A clinical procedure that deposits “washed sperm” (healthy sperm is separated from the semen) in the uterus.
- In-vitro fertilization: A medical procedure that retrieves the egg from the ovary and sperm from the testicles. The egg is then fertilized with the sperm outside of the body before being implanted into the uterus.
For more favorable pregnancy outcomes, your doctor may want to combine COS with certain ART procedures. In fact, research has shown that “Clomiphene citrate + IUI is a cost-effective treatment for unexplained infertility.”
That said, IVF has relatively high success rates for couples struggling with undiagnosed infertility. One study published in the Journal of Gynecological Endocrinology highlighted a 40% pregnancy rate per treatment cycle.
If you’re interested in IVF and want to budget for it, read our guide on the Best Fertility Treatments and IVF Insurance in Singapore.
3. At-Home Fertility Aids
If you and your partner prefer affordable, intimate, science-backed solutions, at-home fertility tools might interest you.
The twoplus Applicator Extra
The twoplus Applicator Extra is an at-home insemination kit that allows you to perform intravaginal insemination (IVI) in full privacy and comfort without requiring professional help.
How the Applicator Extra works:
- It’s specially designed to deposit semen deeper into the vagina.
- It bypasses the acidic environment of the lower vaginal tract that’s harmful to sperm.
- Its 100% medical-grade silicone Soft Tip makes the self-insemination process much more comfortable while reducing immediate semen loss.
All you have to do is fill the sperm syringe with ejaculated or donated semen and self-inseminate away with one hand — it’s really that simple!
The twoplus Sperm Guide
The twoplus Sperm Guide is a conception tool that helps reduce semen leakage after sex while retaining full intimacy between you and your S.O. during lovemaking.
Before doing the deed, lubricate the Sperm Guide and vaginal opening before inserting the former into the vagina. When correctly inserted, the penis will glide over the Sperm Guide during penetration sans discomfort.
After you’re done, leave the Sperm Guide in for up to an hour to minimize semen backflow and retain sperm closer to the cervix. With the Sperm Guide safely plugged into the vagina, feel free to go about your day without leaks and stains down there.
Unexplained Infertility: Puzzling, But Not Unsolvable
Unexplained infertility is an issue no couple wants to run into when they’re trying to get pregnant. Unfortunately, this is the reality some TTC folks need to live with until researchers find a breakthrough.
On the bright side, unexplained infertility can be managed with COS, ART, and at-home fertility aids to increase your odds of pregnancy success. Talk with your primary doctor about your options and keep trying. Remember, there’s always light at the end of the TTC tunnel.
Are you taking too long to conceive? Check out our Getting Pregnant 101 Guide for must-know TTC tips below & above 35 years old.