Unexplained Infertility.  Is it really a thing or a cop-out diagnosis?

Approximately 5-10% of couple who are struggling to conceive get a diagnosis of unexplained infertility.  In fact, most of my clients come to me because they have received such a diagnosis and are unsure on their next course of action.

Couples will receive this diagnosis when 'comprehensive' tests have been done to ascertain the cause of their infertility and nothing abnormal has been found.  I've put quotation marks around the word comprehensive for a reason.  Because based on my experience, the tests have not always been comprehensive. These tests sure do sound comprehensive and range from looking at the fallopian tubes, testing the semen, looking at whether a woman is ovulating, looking at ovarian reserve etc.

So, why am I saying that they are not comprehensive?

Let's introduce Hannah and Joe.
*not real names but based on a real couple*

Hannah and Joe came to me with an 18 month history of trying to conceive but unfortunately not be being able to. They had done all the 'comprehensive' tests and came back with a diagnosis of unexplained infertility.  Upon further investigation, Hannah had not been investigated for endometriosis (a symptom of endometriosis is in itself infertility even if you have no other endo symptoms) and had not had any nutrition bloods drawn.  

After requesting an investigation of the above, turned out that Hannah had mild endometriosis and her nutritional bloods were in the pitts.  We went about correcting these nutritional deficiencies and her endometriosis was laproscopically treated.  Joe's semen analysis came back as 'normal' but I had noted that his morphology was borderline low and nearing the end of abnormal. I therefore suggested a DNA fragmentation test in addition to a nutrition screen. 

A DNA fragmentation test assesses the quality of the sperm DNA itself while a standard semen analysis won't. The test cam back as very poor sperm quality. The good news is that sperm quality is very amenable to diet and lifestyle change which means that we were able to really focus on improving his diet through a personalised nutrition and supplement regime.

So, if you have been told you have unexplained infertility, here are some conditions you should ensure have been tested as a minimum:

For Men:

- Varricole

- Thyroid health

- DNA fragmentation test (even if semen analysis has come back as normal!)

- Coeliac Disease

- Nutrition bloods

For Women:

- Thyroid health

- Coeliac disease

- Endometriosis


- Nutrition bloods

Bottom line: don't take such a diagnosis at face value and ensure that everything truly has been looked at.  Medical teams will often overlook the nutrition side of things despite the numerous studies that have shown that nutrition can influence both egg and sperm health.  Get started using the above suggested tests and if you feel that you need more help, an expert Fertility Dietitian can work with you to advocate for you and provide you with the support you need.

Did you know I offer couple's package where I take a deepdive into both partner's diets?  If you would like to know more about this offer, reply to this email and claim your FREE discovery call.