Explanations for Unexplained Infertility
Couples who are struggling with becoming pregnant are familiar with the routine diagnostic tests that are helpful in determining the cause of their infertility. However, if testing and diagnostic procedures cannot determine the reason why they
pregnancy is a challenge, their diagnosis becomes “unexplained infertility”. Despite the fact that 15% of infertility cases are due to “unexplained infertility”, and an additional 3% cope with recurrent pregnancy loss, new tests can give answers to these diagnoses.
Drs. Hummel and Kettel are actively involved in research to develop such successful therapies. An Inhibin B test can assess if ovarian stimulation may be impaired during an IVF cycle. Patients with low inhibin B hormone levels may have moresuccess with IVF by a simple adjustment in the fertility drug protocol.
Further, researchers have found that higher levels of antiovarian antibodies (AOA) have a negative effect on the ovulation induction process during IVF. Testing for elevated levels of AOA can also help to evaluate cases of early menopause premature ovarian failure). Also, a new test for thrombophilia can explain 10% of cases due to recurrent pregnancy loss. Thrombophilia is a condition in which women tend to form blood clots during pregnancy. Blood clots can endanger oxygen supply and nourishment for the growing fetus.
Women with recurrent pregnancy loss can also be tested for natural killer (NK) blood cells. Elevated levels of NK cells show that the body doesn’t appropriately adjust to a pregnancy and that an immune system directed treatment plan may be beneficial. Infertility research is continuously working on uncovering the mystery behind “unexplained fertility” cases, giving hope to more couples struggling with infertility.