When you have finally decided to start trying to have a family, you tend to want to make it happen right now. It can be disheartening when you experience month after month of negative pregnancy tests. When you finally decide to go to the doctor after months or even years of trying without success to have a baby, it can be devastating to learn that there is no reason for your failed attempts.
“Unexplained infertility” is a common diagnosis for women who have not been able to get pregnant after actively trying for more than a year. It can be an incredibly frustrating diagnosis because it essentially means “we don’t know why you can’t get pregnant,” which also means that a course of treatment is not clear.
There are many factors that may be behind unexplained fertility in women. Here are a few:
Gluten intolerance and insulin resistance are just some of the most common types of dietary issues that could negatively impact fertility. Gluten intolerance (or gluten sensitivity) is more common than many, and many women may experience it without realizing it. Both gluten intolerance and insulin resistance can lead to a breakdown in key bodily functions, which can negatively impact fertility. Making dietary changes is one of the easiest ways to improve fertility and rule out these disorders as the cause of infertility.
There are many influences that may cause hormonal imbalances, including thyroid problems or common disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome. The thyroid is responsible for production and regulation of key hormones, so any deficiencies in the thyroid can lead to hormonal imbalances.
Certain levels of hormones are required for key functions in the reproductive process, including ovulation, implantation, and support of the pregnancy. If these hormones are out of balance, infertility or even miscarriage can occur.
Scar tissue can lead to blockages in the uterus or the fallopian tubes, making it difficult for the egg to release, sperm to reach the egg, or implantation to occur.
Scar tissue can be caused by a number of common medical procedures, including a D&C after a miscarriage, a cervical biopsy, or implantation of a birth-control device. Endometriosis can also lead to the formation of scar tissue.
Sexually-transmitted disease and other infections can also lead to unexplained infertility. Infections can be minor obstacles to fertility that vanish once the infection clears up, or they can present long-time hurdles to fertility because they cause fundamental damage to the reproductive system or upset hormonal balance. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are among the most common STDs to negatively impact fertility, as they can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, one of the most common sources of infertility. These diseases can also lead to infertility in men.
Stress is an insidious force that negatively impacts almost every aspect of our health. Chronic stress can lead to infertility problems in both men and women. It can cause ovulation to stop, create hormonal imbalances, and make implantation difficult or impossible. Stress can also threaten the health of your baby if you do become pregnant, and it can increase your risk of pregnancy complications.
Unexplained infertility can be a devastating diagnosis. Not only are you being told you can’t have children (or at least that it will be very difficult for you to do so), but you are being told there’s no known reason why (meaning there is also no certain treatment). These are some of the most common influences cited for unexplained infertility. Knowing the common causes can help women get to the root of their own particular problem and get the treatment they need.
Did you experience unexplained infertility? Do you suspect any of these reasons as the cause? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!
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Guest Post by: Heather Green is a mom, freelance writer, pet lover and the resident blogger for OnlineNursingDegrees.org, a free informational website offering tips and advice on physical therapy nursing degrees and physical therapy aide degrees.
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