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Unexplained Infertility

Infertility is defined as the inability to get pregnant after one year of unprotected intercourse if you are a female under the age of 35, or six months if you are 35 or older. Women who get pregnant but who have repeated miscarriages are also considered infertile.

Unexplained infertility means that medical tests cannot find any cause for infertility. 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.

What Causes Unexplained Infertility?

Diagnosed infertility in women may be caused by a number of factors. For example, it might be that the egg is not released at the best time for fertilization or that fertilization does not happen at all. Blocked fallopian tubes, uterine fibroids, or uterine problems may also be the cause.

Men can also have fertility problems which result in the couple being unable to conceive. Infertility in men is often due to few or no sperm cells being produced. In some cases, the sperm might be misshapen or they might die before they can reach and fertilize the egg.

A woman is more likely to be diagnosed with unexplained infertility if she is 38 or older. As women get older, the quantity and quality of their eggs diminishes. Most women over 40 have a hard time conceiving, and women over age 44 are rarely fertile even if they ovulate regularly every month. Since there is no test to check for egg quality or quantity, older women with fertility problems are often diagnosed as having unexplained fertility.

Women with mild endometriosis may also have fertility problems. Since it is not proven that mild endometriosis causes infertility, some researchers consider those women as having unexplained infertility.

Getting Pregnant with Unexplained Infertility

The length of time you have been infertile is an important factor in whether you will conceive. Couples who have been infertile for 5 years have less than a 10 percent chance of being able to conceive on their own. Some couples with unexplained infertility have success getting pregnant using intrauterine insemination (IUI) or ovulation induction with fertility drugs. A 2010 study called the FASTT trial indicates that in vitro fertilization (IVF) might be the quickest and best route to pregnancy for couples with unexplained infertility.


Comments (9)

hi i have few queries. Please let me know if you can answer for them. 1)which plan covers IVF in OHio 2)different doctors say different issue. i am not sure whether i really have Premature overian failure or not. 3) if i do have POF then which plan treat that? or covers that IVF procedure. 4) does my husband also have to get covered if we need to undergo IVF procedure? i am married for close to 1.8 yrs.

Hi there,

You should start out by calling the major insurance companies like Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and United Healthcare. If you are purchasing an independent plan, make sure it covers fertility treatment and ask about IVF coverage. You would need IVF for Premature Ovarian Failure. Please keep in mind if you use an egg donor, that is not covered by insurance. Your husband's costs would be associated with semen analysis and blood work, so you might be able to pay those out of pocket.

Best of luck,

i am not yet inrolled. but i am planning to get enrolled in atena plan 90 or cigna with HSA provided by my employer. it says - Infertility treatment - Coverage is limited to the diagnosis and treatment of underlying medical condition. in assumptions they have: The patient's condition was not an excluded or preexisting condition. i am not sure if POF is considered as pre-existing or not? also whether i should opt for atena plan 90 given by my employeer or go for independent plan. HSA coveres infertility treatment -IVF. but again i am in Ohio and may get myself treated in Kenteky. so not sure where to buy plan and which plan. i have read though all douments. please guide.

Hi there,

You are probably better off with a policy through your employer. Independent plans tend not to cover fertility treatment. You should contact the insurance company to find out if they consider POF to be a preexisting condition.

Best of luck,

I do not call it infertility. It is perfectly explainable. God did not make our bodies to have kids at 40. It is NORMAL for most people to be infertile at 40. IT is not a sickness. It is perfectly natural. It is ridiculous for anyone to judge someone as having a fertility "problem" when it is natural to not be fertile at that age. Stop trying to "cure" it with drugs that cause cancer 8-10 years later like clomid. I am a nurse and I see so many woman with cancer of the ovaries and breast cancer because of having taken fertility drugs 8-10 years later. It isn't worth it. Be happy with what God gave you and adopt if you want a child that badly.

Hi Elizabeth,

Thank you for expressing your opinion. Unexplained infertility can happen to any woman at any age. It is up to the woman to then weigh her options and decide if she would like to pursue fertility treatment or adopt. Current research shows that fertility drugs do not CAUSE cancer, but can aggravate existing tumors or cells predisposed to cancer. It really is important for a patient to educate herself, have proper screenings for breast, ovarian, and cervical cancer, and to work with the proper specialist to minimize the amount of time she is taking fertility drugs. For instance, Clomid should not be used for more than 3 to 6 months.


My husband and I have been trying to concieve for 2 years now. Still nothing. The doctors say that everything is normal but how can everything be normal if im still not getting pregnant and i dont have periods for 6 months at a time!!! Any suggestions? Im thinking of a new doctor.

Hi jccj,

Have you been seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) or OB/GYN? The RE can run a battery of tests to determine what the cause may be and can map out a treatment plan for you to build your family. If you would like to connect to a RE in your area, please send me an email at and I can help you find a doctor who suits your needs.



i have been married for the last six years and have not yet conceived. i have gone to hospitals and nothing is happening. have been given clomide drugs nothing,N/b my memses are irregular period sometimes i may even stay for two months or three without getting my periods. please help.

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