What is unexplained infertility?
Unexplained infertility is one of the more frustrating diagnoses for people to hear, and one of the most common I see in my clinic.
Unexplained infertility is what they label you with if all your labs and bloodwork check out as "normal", and they can't explain what's causing your difficulties getting pregnant.
On one hand, the good news is that - since labwork checkout out as “normal” - there’s nothing major going on, or else they would have detected it. On the other hand, it’s frustrating to not have a reason to point to and fix.
Unexplained infertility does not, however, mean that you have no options. And there is absolutely a reason for hope. I help people with this diagnosis to go on and get pregnant all the time.
Diagnosing fertility challenges is a matter of elimination – they check out your hormone levels and egg reserves, confirm that you’re ovulating, check on your fallopian tubes and uterus, and sperm health. And if they don’t find a culprit there, and you’ve struggled to conceive for a period of time, they’ll call it unexplained infertility.
Unexplained infertility - what next?
But that doesn’t mean there’s not actually an explanation or reason. Of course there is.
It’s just that fertility is incredibly complex.
The first thing I recommend is to make sure that they've ruled out these five commonly contributing factors:
- Egg quality
- Sperm quality
- Uterine lining
- Immune factors
Make sure you’ve actually done very thorough and comprehensive testing.
If you'd like to investigate some testing on your own, you can now do that with affordable at-home testing kits! My favorite is Modern Fertility's fertility test kit (click here to learn more and get 10% off).
Get your male partner's sperm tested (you can also do that easily and affordably with an at-home sperm test kit here), make sure they’ve tested your thyroid and looked for autoimmune and clotting factors, as well as the usual FSH, AMH and HSG tests that they run.
Unexplained infertility explained
Too often I see doctors blame and shame the woman and make a huge assumption that it’s either her age or her weight. In my clinical experience and personal opinion, those are lazy cop-outs of a diagnosis. They don’t know that it’s age and they don’t know that it’s weight, that’s them just shrugging and point their finger.
What I’ve found over the years of working with fertility is that unexplained infertility is often due to a lot of little things that are going wrong, that are almost subclinical – meaning they won’t show up in labwork – and on their own they each wouldn’t be a big deal, but they start to gang up and together make it a little harder to get pregnant and slow you down.
So I see my job as solving all the little problems. It may be a slightly low sperm count over here, a slightly delayed ovulation there, maybe just a little bit of a thin uterine lining, maybe a little bit of inflammation, a little bit of nutrient deficiencies. You can see how this starts to gang up and lead to a propensity to have some trouble getting pregnant.
These are all small things, and if you just had one of them, you’d probably find it surmountable and maybe not even realize it and not have any trouble getting pregnant. But by the time you have 4 or 5, it’s really slowing you down and it can be very frustrating. Even if we’re never really able to identify the one major underlying cause, most of my clients do improve and go on to get pregnant if we just focus on fine-tuning and optimizing every aspect of their fertility.
Unexplained infertility treatment
What I do with unexplained infertility clients is I do a very full intake and what I’m doing is detective work, looking for all the tiny imbalances. And then we make a plan for tightening everything up, fine-tuning all the little imbalances. And that’s how we get great results for clients with unexplained infertility.
So don’t despair, don’t blame yourself, know that it’s not all in your head. And get proactive. Here’s what you can do to take matters into your own hands.
I recommend a holistic approach that addresses all the possible factors that can affect fertility.
The Becoming Mama Framework
Together these 10 Steps provide a complete blueprint to holistically improve all the factors that affect your fertility.
You rinse and repeat these steps every cycle, and every cycle gets more and more fertile, until you're pregnant.
Plus a keep-the-faith mindset so that the stress of TTC doesn't affect your relationships, happiness, and fertility.
Interpret your body's signals0%
Use food as medicine0%
Enhance male partner’s fertility0%
Minimize toxins and their effects on your fertility0%
How to exercise to protect & enhance your fertility0%
Biohack your fertility for hormone balance & egg quality0%
Identify your specific fertility "pattern" and how to optimize it0%
Harness the power of acupressure for your fertility0%
Track your fertility progress to know you're on the path to pregnancy success0%
What do all these factors have in common? What they have in common is that inflammation, nutrition, and lifestyle can affect them all. Which is a good thing – because you can do something about that. We can tweak our diet, tweak our lifestyle and habits, and affect all of these factors that affect our fertility.
I walk you through strategies to address all of these factors in my signature course, the Becoming Mama program. So go take a look at that and see if it seems right for you.
Take a look at my recommended supplements, you need high-quality folate and B vitamins, especially. I’ll link to them here.
I hope this is helpful. Happy baby-making! Sending you all the love and good wishes.