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Unexplained Infertility: Diagnosis and What’s Next

Diagnosing Unexplained Infertility

How do you explain the unexplained? Especially when it comes to something as involved as fertility. Well, Dr. Daniel Williams, a fertility doctor with Houston Fertility Institute, has quite the experience explaining the unexplainable, which is why we tapped him to find out how exactly unexplained infertility is diagnosed.

“Infertility, by definition, is the inability to conceive after six months of trying, for women over 35, and after 12 months of trying for women under 35,” says Dr. Williams.

That’s the first step, getting a grasp of what exactly infertility is. The next step is pinpointing the cause, which entails running a fertility workup. Common causes of infertility typically include fallopian tube damage or blockage, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), varicocele, abnormal sperm (count, shape, motility).

A fertility workup may include the following fertility tests:

  • Medical history
  • Physical exam (may include pelvic ultrasound)
  • Various ovulation tests
  • FSH and estradiol tests to check the quality and quantity of your eggs
  • Blood tests to determine hormone levels of you and your partner
  • Semen analysis
  • Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to examine your uterus and fallopian tubes
  • Laparoscopy to check for endometriosis or pelvic scarring

    In some cases, all the tests come back normal even though the couple is unable to conceive. In other cases, the tests may uncover minor abnormalities, but they are not severe enough to result in infertility.

    It can be frustrating not to know exactly what is causing the problem. If you have unexplained infertility you are not alone: unexplained infertility affects about 1 in 5 couples.

    Remember though, there are treatments. There’s still the possibility of getting pregnant.

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