What can you do about unexplained infertility?
What does unexplained infertility mean for you and what you can do to improve your chances of conceiving.
Where there is no known cause for infertility, NICE guidelines state that expectant management can increase the cumulative chances of successful conception. Expectant management should involve information and advice about the regularity and timing of intercourse and any lifestyle changes which might improve their chances of conceiving.
1. Lifestyle changes
There are many lifestyle changes that can improve your fertility profile, here we focus on nutrition and exercise as we know these can have the largest impact.
It is important to eat a balanced diet when trying to conceive, this provides your body with enough energy and healthy vitamins and minerals to thrive. There are some specific food-types that are proven to boost fertility and in some cases reverse some hormonal imbalances. These include mint, nuts, flaxseeds and food types rich in omega-3 (eg salmon and mackerel). Studies have shown a link between ultra-processed foods and reducing fertility in men and women. This link has been shown to be stronger when combined with low fibre and high sugar, so try to cut back on sugar and processed foods.
We know that exercise and movement improves fertility, this works by reducing inflammation, optimising circulation of sex hormones and improving immune function. This in turn increases our overall fertility. Try to find a rhythm with exercise that works for you, firstly an exercise that suits you and your lifestyle is important. Try to get yourself sweaty and out of breath 3-5 times per week. Combining this with strength based exercises is great for our fertility, along with maintaining optimal bone and joint health needed for pregnancy and beyond as well.
If you are struggling to lose weight or are concerned your weight is an unhealthy level, then you should speak to your own GP about this and discuss various weight management methods such as weight management programmes and medical interventions.
2. Medical options
There are a number of medical options that can be considered depending on your history and test results profile.
Typically heavy bleeding and ovulatory challenges can be tackled with methods to halt menstrual cycles such as the contraceptive pill. Although this feels counterintuitive as obviously this halts fertility also, it can often be used to reset cycles, improving regularity and overall fertility longer term. Another option in some cases such as mild PCOS is metformin, which can help lower insulin levels and encourage ovulation.
Thyroid disorders are common and even mild, asymptomatic dysfunction can result in significant fertility challenges. A simple blood test can tell you whether this is an issue and your own GP can prescribe thyroxine in the event that your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is found to be high, meaning you may have hypothyroidism.
Read more about specific medical conditions and medical interventions that can be explored for these here.
3. The Béa Treatment
The Béa Treatment could be a good treatment option for unexplained infertility. The Béa Applicator places our custom cervical cap against the cervix, holding semen in place for up to one hour. It increases the exposure to the cervical mucus, delivering 3.23 times more sperm compared with sexual intercourse or straw insemination. The cap also minimises the contact of semen in the vagina (where the pH can reduce sperm quality) and reduces semen backflow.