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Getting Pregnant, Even with Unexplained Infertility
There is always an option and in this case, unexplained infertility , there is fertility treatment. Now what it really comes down to is, which fertility treatment option to use when trying to get pregnant.
“If we haven't found a cause for infertility, we really can't treat something specifically. Therefore, our treatment goal is simply to accelerate the time to pregnancy,” says Dr. Daniel Williams of Houston Fertility Institute. “That is, get the couple pregnant as quickly as possible.”
There are two main principles commonly used to achieve that goal.
One. Increase the Number of Eggs
Typically, one egg is produced per month, however, the use of fertility drugs can increase the number of eggs made in that month; in turn increasing the chances for conception.
IUI actually produces higher rates above timed intercourse, or regular intercourse, since millions of moving sperm are being directed into the uterus or upper female reproductive tract.
With IVF eggs retrieved from the ovaries are effectively fertilized in the lab and grown into embryos that are then transferred into the uterus, allowing for increased chances of pregnancy.
“Most studies have shown that use of either of the principles; say, doing fertility medicines alone for unexplained infertility, or doing intrauterine insemination alone for unexplained infertility, do not significantly increase pregnancy rates above baseline,” Dr. Williams explains, adding that it’s best to bring the two together.
Selecting a Treatment Option
IVF has the highest success rates of all treatments. Of course, it has the highest cost as well.
“But if you actually factor in doing multiple treatment cycles of a treatment that gives you a lower success rate, it ends up being more cost-effective to move more quickly to in vitro fertilization,” says Dr. Williams. “And more recent studies have actually confirmed that.”
Dr. Williams would not recommend more than three cycles of any given treatment. Usually, most patients do one or two cycles of a lesser treatment before moving directly to IVF.