When you have tried to conceive for a year and you find that all of your hormone levels are normal; when you have an ultrasound, pelvic exam, blood work, pap and semen analysis; when you have tested for ovulation and timed your intercourse appropriately, and yet still have not fallen pregnant, that is unexplained infertility, and it is the most frustrating diagnosis of all. Most couples feel they have done everything right and cannot understand why their bodies are not co-operating. They feel betrayed, heart-broken, and alone.
The first thing to note is that you are not alone. In fact up to a quarter of all cases of infertility are unexplained. My preferred term is “doctor doesn’t know why” infertility. Sophisticated as it truly is, fertility testing cannot check for everything. For example, what many people don’t realize is that the magical moment of union between sperm and egg occurs in the uterine tube. Over the course of several days, the embryo develops, divides, and grows as it moves slowly through the tube, eventually coming to a soft landing in the spongy landscape of the uterine lining. The tube is an active participant in this process. Most people imagine the tube as an inert pipeline that simply allows the embryo to pass through, mechanically connecting the ovaries with the uterus. In reality, it ferrys the embryo with gentle peristaltic waves, moving it through the various micro-environments that nourish and support the many stages of development that take place within those early days. Everything that happens inside the tube is incredibly complex, and as yet poorly understood. Many Reproductive specialists believe that unexplained infertility is something in the tube.
Also, your chances of receiving this diagnosis increases after the age of 35, as you are more likely to have egg quality or quantity issues. However, this is not always the case. I have seen many couples over 35 who, by all available testing, seem to have excellent ovarian reserve, yet still do not fall pregnant.
I use these examples, but an almost infinite number of microscopic processes go into the making of a baby, and thus an almost infinite number of things can go wrong. Given that, I believe there is an explanation, but with each individual couple, we simply haven’t found it yet. So I would re-title the diagnosis “Dr. doesn’t know why yet”. And this is where Traditional Chinese Medicine and Naturopathic Medicine enter the discussion.
During your initial consultation, I look at all labs and other information about you and your individual physiology. Armed with information, we work together on a treatment plan based on your pattern. If you have been unable to fall pregnant, there is absolutely an explanation; it just hasn’t been found yet. A healthy body is a fertile body, so I work together with each patient to optimize health - not the absence of disease, but real health and vitality.
For more information, book a 15 minute consultation. I’m always available for a chat.