Unexplained infertility is exactly what it sounds like– it describes the inability to conceive for reasons that a provider is unable to diagnose. People of any gender or biology can be diagnosed with unexplained infertility, and the diagnosis usually comes after everything else has been ruled out, including blocked tubes, fibroids, low egg reserve, low sperm count due to lifestyle or hormonal challenges, etc.
Technically, you may be diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” after one year of attempting conception without a successful positive pregnancy test. However, that medical definition comes from working with heterosexual, cisgender couples. For the LGBTQ community, your provider may choose to diagnose you with unexplained infertility much sooner (or much later). For example, if you have had six IUI’s but aren’t yet pregnant, your provider may give you an unexplained infertility diagnosis. Roughly 15%-30% of heterosexual, cisgender couples who are experiencing infertility may receive a diagnosis of unexplained infertility.
For LGBTQ couples and individuals, a diagnosis of infertility does not mean the end of the road. There is a chance that, for whatever reason, your sperm donor isn’t working for your biology and you can choose another sperm donor. If both of you are able to carry a child, it may be time to try conceiving with the other person in the couple. If you find that you do not wish to change donors, or there is not another available uterus in your relationship, there are still options for those with unexplained infertility. It may be time to graduate to IVF, if there is reason for your provider to believe that the issue is in how the sperm and egg are combining. Within the broad umbrella of IVF are a variety of additional options you can pursue, such as ICSI (if the issue could be how the sperm is fertilizing the egg). And if those pieces seem to be in place but the issue is implantation (your body’s ability to “keep” and “hold” the fertilized egg or embryo), a surrogate can be used to carry the pregnancy.
Regardless of whether you and your provider are ever able to “explain” your infertility, we will work tirelessly with you to find a pathway forward so you can achieve your dream of parenthood.