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Anyone else think that 'unexplained infertility' is a load of b........?

(19 Posts)
BlindKitty Sat 13-Apr-13 22:43:27

After 23 months of patiently ttc, all tests coming back clear (apart from dh's sperm morphology being slightly low which consultant said not to worry about).

I just don't buy the diagnosis of 'unexplained infertility'. Surely, it just means that the docs haven't found the real cause????

twinklestar2 Sat 13-Apr-13 23:02:54

Hi Blind, what do you class as 'slightly low' morphology out of interest?

HesterShaw Sat 13-Apr-13 23:10:42

I think you're right.

With patients who are more difficult to diagnose, it is often cheaper and easier to chuck IVF/IUI at them and hope it works rather than finding the real reason.

I too would quite like to know why DH and I haven't conceived in over three years of trying, but we're "unexplained" too!

BlindKitty Sat 13-Apr-13 23:15:21

hester can I ask how old you are and whether you've been offered any IUI / IVF?

BlindKitty Sat 13-Apr-13 23:25:55

Have a butchers at this:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252824.php

HesterShaw Sat 13-Apr-13 23:26:03

I am 38 and am currently on the 2WW after my 1st round of IUI <gulp>

HesterShaw Sat 13-Apr-13 23:27:32

God. I'd rather not have read that sad

twinklestar2 Sat 13-Apr-13 23:27:53

good luck Hester

HesterShaw Sat 13-Apr-13 23:41:17

Cheers me dear smile

BlindKitty Sat 13-Apr-13 23:51:04

Hester Sorry, didn't meant to worry you! I'm meant to be having my first IUI in June. I really hope it works for you xx

tazzle Sun 14-Apr-13 00:03:52

Ivf is not a cheap option so no.. I don't think it's offered just cos docs can't be bothered to find a real cause. I think sometimes we just don't know why it's not happening.

We know more than we did 35 years ago when I was ttc and having treatment s and maybe there are still more causes that might be fixable to find.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 14-Apr-13 10:10:49

"Unexplained infertility" is actually no diagnosis at all; all it means is that they have failed to find out what is wrong. Sometimes it is a "diagnosis" given to couples when they as a couple have not been adequately investigated. Some tests can get missed out (I have put up a list of missed tests before now); proper semen analyses (not just one test) can and should always be done.

In your particular case I'd be wanting a repeat set of tests done on the low morphology. And a second opinion; it is fair to say that some units are far better than others.

BlindKitty Sun 14-Apr-13 10:53:57

Attila can you remember where you put the list? DH will be getting another SA before the IUI in June so we'll see x

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 14-Apr-13 11:00:09

Hi BlindKitty,

The most common tests that tend to be omitted are:-

Adequate x-rays of the uterus which may show abnormalities not otherwise seen at laparoscopy.

Hysteroscopy - telescope inspection of the inside of the uterus which may occasionally show abnormalities not seen otherwise

Repeated sperm counts over several weeks and months to make sure there is no subtle abnormality

Testing the sperm in special media such as swim up testsvelocity testing. However, when they are done, they often uncover a hidden cause for the suppposed unexplained problem

Thorough hormone tests to detect abnormalities of male hormone or early falls in progesterone

Scanning of the ovaries to see if follicles really are developing and there are no sign of polycystic ovaries.

BlindKitty Sun 14-Apr-13 11:12:00

Thanks Attilla! Are these all things I could get on the NHS?

EuroShaggleton Sun 14-Apr-13 11:13:36

I agree with Hest. It's more economical to send people straight to treatment than to properly diagnose once the common ishoos with egg production, tubes and swimmers have been ruled out. After that, there's a 101 things it could be and the suggested treatment is usually IVF (or sometimes IUI) anyway.

I really, really struggled with the idea of having expensive, invasive treatment for something that hadn't been diagnosed. But after more than 2 years ttc with no BPF, we got one on our very first round of IVF (although I unfortuantely miscarried). So that suggests that there was a problem that was overcome by the IVF process, but no one can tell us what that is.

I've posted about the DNA frag stuff on here several times before. I'm interested partly because psychologically, I feel like I need an explanation as to why this is not happening for us. I really think the DNA frag might be it. According to that research, it's statistically the most likely cause for us. We're thinking about having the test, but then the treatment is IVF (or ICSI if it's really bad) and we're going down that road anyway.

blondebaby111 Sun 14-Apr-13 15:14:35

I have unexplained too and its so frustrating to be told your 'normal' when nothing is happening. Five years down the line and one failed ivf behind us we are about to start the second round but I'm certain there must be more tests they can do. I have a really high immune system and I'm lucky that I'm rarely ill, just wondering if my body is killing something off each time. Its definately something I'm gonna mention to the clinc.
Can they not do anymore tests on your dh?? Sounds like they should be investigating a bit more rather than dismiss it

mrsden Sun 14-Apr-13 15:19:48

There is so much that isn't known about fertility. Male infertility is particularly poorly understood. Unexplained means that they haven't found out what's wrong rather than there being nothing wrong. Clearly something is wrong of it isn't happening. Ivf does work in many cases of unexplained and sometimes this is actually less expensive and less invasive than some of the tests that could be performed. Time is also a factor. Even if an answer is found, the solution will still be ivf in many cases so I can understand why ivf is pushed rather than more investigations. But, I see why having an answer and a reason why is very important.

Bugsylugs Sun 14-Apr-13 15:23:47

Of course the science may not be there yet

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