Patient Resources

What to Do When You Are Diagnosed with Unexplained Infertility

Have you been told that you have unexplained infertility? You may be wondering how, after all the testing, you still don’t have answers. Approximately one in five couples are diagnosed with unexplained fertility, even after a complete fertility work-up. It can be difficult, causing many couples to think that the reason is out there, it just hasn’t been found yet. 

Now What?

It is important to know that some medical conditions come without explanation. There is no pinpointed reason that they happen. Unexplained infertility is often defined as a diagnosis of elimination, meaning that your doctor has determined that you do not have certain problems, but you are still unable to conceive. A diagnosis for unexplained fertility may be justified if it shows the following:

  • You are ovulating regularly
  • Your ovarian reserves are good
  • Your fallopian tubes are healthy
  • Your partner’s semen analysis is normal
  • There are no serious uterine fertility issues

If any of the prior factors have not been evaluated, the diagnosis may be premature. It is also important to know the difference between unexplained infertility and idiopathic female or male infertility. Idiopathic male infertility means that it has been determined that the man is infertile because his semen analysis results were not normal, but the cause is unknown. Idiopathic female infertility may occur when a woman is not ovulating normally, but it is unclear why. Unexplained infertility, on the other hand, means that there is normal ovulation and normal sperm, but the couple is still unable to conceive. 

Possible Explanations

There are things that may cause problems with fertility, but there is not quite a way to evaluate them yet. Some possible explanations may include undiagnosed underlying medical problems, mild endometriosis, poor egg/sperm quality, problems with the endometrium, problems with a fertilized egg becoming a healthy embryo, and the interaction between the vaginal environment and the sperm. 

In some cases, couples with unexplained infertility will conceive without the help of any treatment within one to two years of diagnosis. It is possible for a subtle fertility problem to exist, but not enough to prevent you from conceiving on your own. 


The North Carolina Center for Reproductive Medicine/Talbert Fertility Institute is the premiere center for reproductive health in North Carolina and the East Coast. Our team specializes in fertility testing, diagnosis, and treatment of infertility conditions. We’re experts in IVF, Tubal Ligation Reversal, Male Infertility, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Gestation Surrogacy, Family Balancing, and more. Contact us today.

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