When you have been trying for over a year; when all of your hormone levels test normal; when your ultrasound, pelvic exam, blood work, and semen analysis are fine; when you have used the ovulation predictor kit, and timed your intercourse, and still have not conceived. This is unexplained infertility, and it is the most frustrating diagnosis of all. Most couples I see share that they'd rather have a clear diagnosis: if something is wrong, at least there's something to fix. They feel heartbroken and alone, and betrayed by their bodies.
The first thing to remember is that you are not alone. In fact, a large percentage of infertile couples are unexplained. A better term would be “doctor doesn’t know why” infertility, since fertility testing cannot check for everything. There’s still a lot we don’t know. There’s new research and information coming out all the time. For example, some fascinating new research is illustrating the importance of the uterine microbiome and its importance in the implantation process.
I use this example, but an almost infinite number of microscopic processes go into making a baby, and thus an almost infinite number of things could be the explanation. There certainly is an explanation, 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 Acupuncture enter the discussion.
When there is no explanation, the best way forward is to optimize your fertility by optimizing your overall health and wellbeing. There is actually quite a bit you can do.
In my initial consultation with new patients, I always review general lifestyle parameters such as diet, sleep and exercise patterns, as well as any relevant labs or blood work. After that, we can dig into the details of what is happening in your specific pattern. Armed with this information, we start to build a plan that’s specific for you to optimize your fertility by optimizing your overall health.
Here are some of the basics that I always recommend:
For both eggs and sperm, we can greatly improve the quality with some basic supplements. I always recommend taking these for 100 days before trying to conceive. There is approximately a three month window during which we can have the most effect on the quality of the gametes. Here’s some more information on egg quality and what we can do about it.
These basics should get you off to a good start:
- prenatal (preferably one with methylated folate)
- omega 3 fish oils
- Vitamin D
I also strongly recommend prenatal for men.
This treatment is an excellent way to improve fertility by increasing blood flow into the pelvic region, reducing the stress response and lowering inflammation. There’s a lot of great research out there on acupuncture and its effect on fertility. And the good news is you'll leave your session feeling incredibly relaxed!
Low-level light therapy (LLLT):
Laser therapy is the use of both red and infrared light to stimulate the mitochondria of the cells. This increases the production of ATP in the cell, thus supporting its energy source which drives all cellular processes. This can have a profound effect on egg quality.
The laser can:
- Enhance mitochondrial activity and ATP production
- Increase blood flow
- Regulate inflammation
- Reduce oxidative damage
- Soften scar tissue
If you have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, and you’d like help finding ways to optimize your health and fertility, call and book a free 15-minute discovery call and see what Acubalance has to offer.