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Unexplained Infertility: Which Treatment Should You Choose?

It can be difficult to determine which fertility treatment is most suitable in the case of Unexplained Infertility. This diagnosis does not provide a clear cut cause of infertility. There is often no known issue with egg quality that would point toward IVF or donor eggs, and no male factor issue like sperm motility that would suggest a sperm wash with IUI could lead to success. Instead, Unexplained Infertility is addressed in more of a “step-wise” approach, starting with the least invasive treatment of oral fertility drugs. If oral fertility drugs are not successful, the patient is then prescribed a protocol of injectable fertility drugs, intrauterine insemination (IUI), and lastly in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The FASTT study published in 2010 looked at the benefits (cost, time, efficiency) of introducing IVF treatment sooner for Unexplained Infertility patients. Participants were randomized and assigned either to the control group receiving injectable hormones, or the test group undergoing IVF and skipping the injectable medication step. The study found that patients on the accelerated path achieved pregnancy sooner and more cost-effectively than those who underwent the injectable drug protocol.

Dr. Eric Flisser, of RMA New York, writes in his blog: “It is possible that in a portion of these patients [with Unexplained Infertility], infertility is characterized by a problem at the egg-sperm interaction that can only be overcome by direct laboratory intervention.”

To learn more about Unexplained Infertility and IVF, check out Dr. Eric Flisser’s blog on

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