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Unexplained Infertility: A Controversial Diagnosis

Unexplained Infertility A Controversial Diagnosis

When you face any health issue, the first thing that you do is go for a proper diagnosis to determine the underlying cause. But when you don’t know what is causing the problem, it becomes really frustrating. Even your doctor may resort to different treatment modalities, which might work once in a while. But you can’t just keep throwing the arrows in the dark, waiting for them to hit the target.

Unexplained infertility, as the name suggests, is an umbrella term for various fertility challenges that cannot be determined or explained. The underlying cause of your inability to start your family remains unknown as there is no apparent medical problem that may be held accountable.

As per the experts from the best IVF hospital in Delhi. 1 out of every 4 couples suffering from infertility does not know the precise cause of their infertility. 

Why is it a controversial diagnosis?

It is often said that unexplained infertility is a controversial diagnosis. Well, the reason behind this is that, unlike other conditions, this is a diagnosis based on elimination. Instead of “you have this problem” or “you have that problem”, you get to hear “you do not have this problem” or “you do not have that problem”. It is pertinent to note that unexplained infertility can be diagnosed only after detailed assessment and evaluation. Your infertility is said to be unexplained only if 

  • You have no problems with ovulation
  • You have good ovarian reserves
  • You have healthy and normally functioning fallopian tubes
  • Semen analysis reports do not show any abnormality  
  • Your uterine is healthy 

If all these are not taken into account and ruled out. It cannot be definitely said that you are suffering from unexplained infertility. While some doctors lay emphasis on laparoscopy for ruling out endometriosis. Experts from the best hospital in India will only recommend it if you are experiencing other symptoms related to endometriosis. These include pain during menstruation or sexual intercourse. 

Are unexplained fertility and idiopathic fertility the same?

The answer is ‘NO’. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, both unexplained infertility and idiopathic infertility are different from each other. No doubt, idiopathic means unexplained, but the cause is not completely unknown. For instance, if we talk about idiopathic male infertility. It may be determined that the problem is due to an abnormality in the semen of the male.

However, it is not known what causes this abnormality. Similarly, in the case of women, it is determined that the woman is not ovulating regularly. However, the reason behind the same is not known. In both the above-mentioned examples, we know that infertility is due to unhealthy semen or irregular ovulation. The underlying cause, however, is not known. 

Some possible causes:

  • Anatomical abnormalities – This is an umbrella term used for various abnormalities in the structure, size, and location of the uterine, fallopian tubes, and other associated structures. Earlier, it was thought that a retroverted uterus could be a cause of infertility. However, this is no longer taken into account as slight changes in the positioning of the uterus won’t make much difference. There might be an abnormality with the mouth of the fallopian tube that prevents it from picking up the eggs efficiently. Inflammation in the womb lining and large fibroids may also interfere with the normal reproduction process. A vaginal ultrasound may help to detect abnormalities in the womb and ovaries. Leading doctors for infertility treatment in India may recommend hysteroscopy along with laparoscopy, in case an ultrasound facility is not available. 
  • Follicular abnormality – This refers to the abnormal development of follicles that hinders normal ovulation. This is often marked by the release of an immature egg or no release at all.
  • Abnormal eggs – This is marked by structural irregularities or chromosomal abnormalities in the eggs. 
  • Trapped eggs – The eggs are mature but trapped inside the corpus luteum.