For many of us, the journey to parenthood can be filled with unexpected challenges, and unexplained infertility is perhaps one of the most frustrating. It’s a term that many couples encounter on their fertility journey, as we did and it definitely left us with more questions than answers. And rather than being a diagnosis which signposts a way forward, it ultimately causes even more confusion and upset. In this post, I’ll delve into what unexplained infertility means, its potential implications, and most importantly, finding the way forward to explanations and hope for your journey.
Understanding Unexplained Infertility
Unexplained infertility is a diagnosis given when a couple has not conceived after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse, despite normal fertility test results, probably undertaken by your GP. It accounts for 15-30% of infertility cases. Although I fully understand that the term can be unsettling, it’s crucial to remember that it signifies a gap in our understanding of the root cause and shouldn’t be viewed as a dead end where no more can be discovered and no more can be done. So many small imbalances in crucial parts of our health may play a role. These may include dysbiosis of the gut or vaginal microbiome, hormone imbalance, nutrient deficiencies or sperm functionality issues. None of these is likely to be detected in standard tests and all may impact the ability of a couple to conceive and carry a healthy pregnancy to term.
Emotional Impact and Coping Strategies
The ambiguity of an unexplained infertility diagnosis can be emotionally exhausting. Feelings of frustration, sadness, and anxiety are common amongst couples experiencing this diagnosis. Having experienced it myself, I know how important it is to acknowledge these emotions and seek support. Connecting with others facing similar challenges, either through support groups or online forums, can be incredibly validating – it helps to know we are not alone. Professional counselling can also offer tools and strategies to manage the stress and emotional strain.
The Role of Nutrition and Lifestyle
Although it is common to be directed to IVF after a diagnosis of ‘unexplained’ or to continue to try naturally as there is no explanation, as a nutritionist specialising in fertility, I’ve seen the profound impact that nutrition and lifestyle choices can have to support conception and a healthy pregnancy. Following a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals can support reproductive health. Research shows that a Mediterranean style diet high in lean protein, healthy fats, colourful fruits and vegetables and wholegrains is a great place to start. Regular physical activity, stress reduction techniques, and maintaining a healthy weight are also beneficial. Whilst these are great general recommendations, it is worth recognising that a tailored plan addressing your unique health is always best.
Finding Hope and Moving Forward
Despite the challenges of unexplained infertility, many couples find success with nutrition or lifestyle changes. Our journey was overshadowed by this diagnosis but with nutritional support and lifestyle changes, we went on to have our family.
Unexplained infertility can be a difficult and uncertain journey, but seeking support and explanations doesn’t have to be something you navigate alone. As a fertility trained nutritionist, I’m here to support you through every step, offering personalised care and guidance tailored to your unique journey towards parenthood.
If you’re navigating the challenges of unexplained infertility and seeking support, I’m here to help. Contact me here
for a consultation. Remember, every journey is unique, and together, we can find the path that’s right for you.