Understanding Unexplained Infertility
Unexplained infertility is something that many people experience, but not something that is talked about enough. While we know quite a bit about officially diagnosed infertility, unexplained infertility is a term that’s used to describe when there is no case of infertility present.
A diagnosis of unexplained infertility is given to about 25% of couples who are experiencing difficulty conceiving.
What You Need to Know About Unexplained Infertility
Many couples trying to conceive and have difficulty doing so receive an official infertility diagnosis caused by things such as low sperm count, poor sperm motility in men, or things like blocked fallopian tubes or endometriosis in women.
However, not everyone receives an official diagnosis or reason behind why they are having difficulty conceiving. In those who receive a diagnosis of unexplained fertility, many couples will undergo fertility treatment options, and finding the root cause may not be as straight forward.
At our clinics – GinSen, almost a quarter of our infertility patients come to us due to unexplained infertility.
Important Testing for Unexplained Infertility
There are various tests to determine what some of the underlying causes of unexplained infertility may be which include:
- Blood tests to check hormone levels
- Sperm count testing – take a look at how to increase low sperm count and improve male fertility
- Blood tests to look at genetic variants that may be playing a part
- Blood testing to uncover any potential nutrient deficiencies
Identifying the Underlying Cause of Unexplained Infertility
Treating unexplained infertility requires a holistic approach to determine the root cause. It’s important to look into underlying issues that may already exist before diving into treatment for unexplained infertility.
Here are some common underlying causes we come across in our patients with unexplained infertility:
- Hormone Imbalance: Hormone imbalances in both men and women can lead to unexplained infertility. Things like thyroid imbalance or adrenal hormone imbalance can lead to difficulties with conception.
- Stress: Stress can be one of the number one causes of unexplained infertility as it can have an impact on your overall health, and when there is an imbalance in the body, hormone imbalance can occur. With hormone imbalance, comes a decrease chance of conception.
- Lack of Cervical Mucus: Cervical mucus, especially around the time of ovulation is an important part of supporting fertility. Cervical mucus is designed to help nourish as well as protect sperm as the sperm makes the trek to meet the egg. (1) Without enough cervical mucus, there is a significantly lower chance of conception.
Chinese Medicine Outlook
It is common for your Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner to carry out tongue diagnoisis, check your pulse, look into the your current lifestyle, day to day habits and medical history. Based on this diagnosis will narrow their findings down specific imbalances and deficiencies present. Some commonly observed patterns include:
- Energy Blockage: Fertility organs have accumulated blood clotting, poor blood flow or poor vital energy flow (Qi). This blockage often leads to a deficiency of nutrition and imbalance in the functioning of the organs. It can be cause due to stress, which in turn leads to Liver Qi stagnation (energy stagnation) and Blood stasis (blood is not flowing or circulating as optimally
- Excessive Inflammation: Energy blocked in fertility organs occurs due to water retention or weight gain ( excessive dampness and phlegm obstructing energy channel) when this occurs blood circulation to and in the fertility system along with flow vital Qi flow slows down. It can result from consuming fatty food, or excessive food quantity, or lack of energy.
- Qi and Blood deficiency: Fertility organs need high standard and level of nutrition to have the ability to conceive successfully. This deficiency could happen due to being overworked, irregular lifestyle, chronic insomnia, or long term high-stress level.
- Yang (warmth) deficiency of Kidney and Spleen: Fertility organs need certain level of warmth Yang level to support monthly menstruation, and enable eggs to grow. Excessive cold energy (yin) in the fertility organs will slow down blood circulation, with irregual periods and slow or absent growth of eggs.
Natural Options for Unexplained Infertility Using a Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach
Nutrient Dense Diet: Supporting reproductive health with a nutrient dense diet plays an integral role in boosting your body’s natural ability to conceive. Nutritional deficiencies can cause a woman’s menstrual cycle to become imbalanced, and can also negatively affect sperm count. To help prevent nutrition deficiencies, you will want to consume a diet rich in as many whole foods as possible.
- Iron: Including iron-rich foods in the diet is important since iron is required for ovulation. Get lots of dark leafy greens, beans, lentils, and grass-fed red meat in your diet.
- Calcium: Calcium is also needed for healthy menstruation, and you can get calcium-rich foods in your diet from sources like broccoli, almonds, beans, lentils, and sardines.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps support sperm health, and you can get vitamin C from foods like bell peppers, sweet potatoes, winter squash, tomatoes, broccoli, and strawberries.
- Goji Berries: Goji berries can be super beneficial for both male and female fertility as they can help boost sperm count and strength, improve sex drive, support reproductive hormone function, and help support ovary health.
- Mushrooms and Black Fungus: Mushrooms and black fungus are low-calorie protein-rich foods are an excellent part of a healthy diet to help support reproductive health.
Lifestyle Factors that Could Contribute towards Unexplained Infertility
- Stress Reduction: Your mental health is important for so many different aspects of overall wellness, including your fertility. Being chronically stressed can interfere with menstrual cycle balance. Try to reduce stress as much as possible through daily stress reduction activities like yoga, meditation, and doing things that bring you joy. Even getting outside for a nice walk and socializing with positive people in your life can reduce your stress levels.
- Exercise: Exercise is another way to reduce your stress and can also help support a healthy weight, another key part of supporting fertility.
- Maintain a Healthy BMI: Maintaining a healthy BMI (body mass index) is an important part of supporting fertility. Both low and high BMI’s can lead to fertility issues. (2)
- Eliminating Toxins: Smoking can lead to egg aging as well as sperm quality, so if you smoke, you will want to quit. (3) Things like recreational drug use and excessive alcohol intake can also negatively impact fertility.
- Cut Back on Caffeine: Excessive caffeine intake (more than 2 cups per day) may lead to fertility issues. Try to make your morning cup of coffee the only caffeine you consume each day.
Here are some more of the poor diet and lifestyle habits that can negatively affect fertility:
- Consumption of refined sugar & refined carbohydrates
- Consumption of other inflammatory foods such as conventional dairy products and gluten
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Chronic stress
- Vitamin & mineral imbalance
Supplement Options for Unexplained Infertility
Taking the right supplements can also be beneficial for boosting your chance of conception. Here at GinSen, we offer a fatigue and unexplained fertility kit which includes supplements to help promote uterus fine line, blood flow and blood circulation, hormone balance, egg health, and immunity balance.
The Bottom Line
Unexplained infertility can be frustrating, and it isn’t as straightforward to diagnose as infertility that has a more obvious cause. At our clinics – GinSen, we can help uncover some potential health issues that may be interfering with your ability to conceive and then work on restoring total body balance to make conception easier all while supporting your overall health.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We can’t guarantee the treatment result, as the symptoms of conditions are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. The treatment length and recovery time also varies for individual. Please visit our clinics website: GinSen where a specialists will discuss your care and provide a consultation, and the treatment will be designed to meet your individual needs.