A couple is tagged as infertile if they are unable to conceive after six months of unprotected intercourse. What follows next, is regular visits to gynecologists and fertility clinics, a battery of tests and a lot of advice from relatives and friends who claim to be experts. The condition is probably less challenging when you have a visible enemy, but undiagnosed or unexplained fertility can be a tough nut to crack.
Unexplained infertility is a condition in which the doctors and specialists are unable to diagnose the exact reason of infertility. They do so when overwhelmed by reports coming normal for most of the diagnostic tests. As many as 10% of infertile couples are declared to be suffering from this condition, which unfortunately, can be the simplest to treat if tackled with the right approach, but this is something that rarely happens!
Unexplained Infertility: Know It Better
As a couple battling with month after month of disappointment makes a beeline for an infertility clinic, they are recommended to take a standard series of diagnostic tests. Prior to taking these tests, it is the protocol to take up the basic approach, making queries related to simple issues such as timing of the intercourse, any nutritional deficiencies, weight issues, poor lifestyle, low cervical mucus or any underlying health conditions.
More complicated issues are addressed in specialized diagnostic tests such as those for tubal blockage, endometriosis, diminishing ovarian reserve (probably in older women), hormonal imbalance, structural abnormalities, cysts and fibroids and male factor infertility. In case any of these tests return abnormal results, the specialists devise a plan of action accordingly. On the other hand, normal diagnosis tempts them to label the infertility as unexplained.
Being fitted in the category of unexplained category is both good news and bad news for the couple. While the good news is that there is not anything major stopping them being able to conceive, the bad news is that they are still not getting results. Whether the couple wants to wait for nature to take its course or try some alternative therapies, or take a more aggressive approach like an opting for an assisted reproductive technique, is a decision that is entirely theirs to take.
At the same time, a responsible fertility clinic is the one which will help them with the same, by explaining them the risks and benefits of taking a treatment as well as pros and cons of various options open to them. Here, the guidelines may differ from case to case, as a younger couple can be recommended to wait but an older one needs to go ahead with one of the ARTs as soon as they can.
Which is the better option- IVF or IUI?
Since the treatment options for unexplained fertility need not be problem-intensive, the most widely used ones for these cases are IVF or IUI. The choice between the two can be a bit confusing for the patient and weighing the pros and cons of each can be a good way to opt for the right one. However, it is actually the patient who needs to make the final decision, though a responsible clinic will guide them for the same, considering individual circumstances in each case.
Success Rate of IVF v/s IUI
The basic parameter which has the biggest influence over the decision is that of the success rate of the treatment a couple plans to choose. Over a period of time, there has been advancement in IVF technique, which has led to a consistent improvement in its success rate. In comparison, statistics have not been so great for IUI cases. For this reason, older women suffering from unexplained infertility should rather consider IVF as an option because it is likely to yield better results and faster too. Since a woman’s biological clock is another vital factor for fertility, the sooner a treatment brings results, the better it is to pick that one.
Cost Effectiveness of IVF v/s IUI
When a couple is presented a choice of two fertility treatments, cost effectiveness is an important factor that has a bearing on their choice. IUI is a simpler and less expensive treatment as compared with IVF, which involves more complicated steps such as egg retrieval, embryo culture, embryo transfer and so on. At the same time, IVF has a considerably better success rate, which makes it effectively inexpensive option.
For instance, a single IVF can bring the desirable results; while as many as 3-4 IUI attempts may be needed to hit the bull’s eye. So IVF would turn out to be a better option if speedy and more positive results are sought. In fact, IVF can be described as a shortcut and is recommended for older patients while the younger ones can take a more balanced approach. However, if money is not a constraint, it is better to take a step rather than wasting time and money and going through the trauma of repeated failed attempts.
Gaudium IVF is a trusted name for specialized infertility treatments, providing advanced techniques along with excellent patient care and support. Visit us for a free second opinion by the award-winning fertility specialist, Dr Manika Khanna.