You are currently viewing What is Unexplained Infertility? – Causes, Treatment, IVF Success Rates

In couples trying to conceive and seek fertility help from experts but all the investigations and tests are normal and still there is no obvious reason for infertility- such cases are called unexplained infertility. This diagnosis can be particularly frustrating, as it lacks a clear cause, leaving many to wonder, “Why can’t we conceive when everything seems normal?” 5-10% of infertile couples suffer from unexplained infertility. Inconsequential issues that are not severe enough to cause infertility are discovered in a considerably larger percentage of couples. The reasons for unexplained infertility in these situations can be variable. Undiagnosed and/or difficult-to-treat issues with egg quality, tubal function or sperm function may exist in couples with unexplained infertility. Treatment options for unexplained infertility range from lifestyle changes and medication to advanced procedures like intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

So, let’s discuss the reasons for unexplained infertility, its diagnosis, and various treatment options with their success rate- all one by one.

What Causes Unexplained Infertility?

unexplained infertility causes

Unexplained infertility occurs when standard fertility evaluations including sperm analysis, ovulation tracking, and imaging studies of the reproductive organs fail to identify a clear reason for a couple’s inability to conceive. Reasons for unexplained infertility could be any, many, or perhaps none, hence the name unexplained. Potential causes may include hormonal imbalances that affect egg or sperm quality, undiagnosed endometriosis, genetic factors, or immune system issues that interfere with embryo implantation. But so far, some solid causes of unexplained infertility have been discovered in men as well as women. Let’s understand each one by one. There are chances of female facing these problems during secondary infertility.

1. Fertilization Failure:

There might be a failure of fertilization of gametes to form an embryo due to intrinsic defects in either of the gametes or both, leading to unexplained infertility

 2. Altered Tubal Function:

Fallopian tubes play an important role in the process of fertilization by picking up the egg and transporting it to the segment where it meets the sperm and is fertilized inside it, due to abnormal functioning of the tube there might be unexplained infertility.

3. Poor Intercourse Time:

Because the sperm has a limited lifespan, when the frequency or timing of sexual intercourse doesn’t coincide with ovulation, the egg is lost either before or after the sexual activity. This is among the top causes of unexplained infertility.

4. Endometriosis:

Endometriosis is a condition in which the endometrium, the tissue that typically lines the inner lining of your uterus, develops outside of your uterus in other organs. Infertility may be exacerbated by endometriosis, even if it is minor or has no symptoms as it affects the egg quality and affects tubal function.

5. Cervical Mucus Discharge:

Cervical mucus can hinder sperm from reaching the uterus, although they are seldom the main reason for infertility. Cervical mucus is not often a big contributor to infertility, although they might be in women who have erosion, infection or cervical stenosis.

6. Poor Egg Quality

As the age of the female partner increases the likelihood of reproductive problem caused by an egg-related conditions increases. There is no formal “egg quality” test, not even for the younger female partner. Blood tests and ultrasound scans might provide hints regarding the quantity of your eggs but not the quality. However, there is no test that can provide a conclusive diagnosis to determine the quality of eggs. Consequently, this may be the cause of unexplained female infertility.

7. Poor Sperm Quality

Semen examination identifies most sperm related abnormalities and can determine the quality of the sperm. But there are still various problems related to the sperm such as the capacity of the sperm to fertilize the egg which can’t be determined.

8. Uterine Lining Issues

The lining of your uterus is called your endometrium. It is what a developing embryo adheres to and develops throughout pregnancy. When the endometrium doesn’t grow or become ready for a fertilized egg, this is referred to as a “luteal phase defect.” This implies that even if an egg is fertilized, it won’t be able to implant, preventing pregnancy.

How is Unexplained Infertility Diagnosed?

unexplained infertility diagnosis

Both partners are medically evaluated to establish the reason for infertility via a number of tests. Male partner’s sperm count and quality (morphology), such as shape and motility, are examined in order to estimate the possibility that they will fertilize an egg.

Likewise, ovarian function is assessed to watch for correct ovulation, analyze the tubal and uterine systems in women, and measure different hormone levels.

Together, these tests enable us to rule out infertility caused by male partner, ovulatory, tubal, and uterine factors. These medical tests help with the diagnosis of unexplained male infertility or unexplained female infertility, or both, as there is otherwise no visible indication of infertility.

What are the Success Rates for Pregnancy with Unexplained Infertility?

If you have been given an undiagnosed infertility diagnosis, you can still become pregnant. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA’s research, 92% of couples who underwent reproductive treatments for unexplained infertility ended up becoming parents. Similar cases have been successful in India and other Asian nations too. You don’t have to give up on having children just because you’ve been told you have unexplained male infertility or for that matter, unexplained female infertility.

What are the Treatment Options for Unexplained Infertility?

There are several treatment options available, each tailored to address different aspects of fertility and increase the chances of conception. We are sharing some major and successful four treatments that have been great in uprooting the causes of unexplained infertility.

unexplained infertility treatment

1. Lifestyle Changes:

A lot of factors, like following a healthy diet and exercise routine; avoiding smoking or regular alcohol use; practicing healthy and hygienic sexual habits to avoid sexual diseases, etc., can contribute to a healthy sexual life and thus prevent unexplained infertility.

2. Improved Intercourse Time:

Conception should happen within a short interval in your menstrual cycle. To increase your chances of becoming pregnant, your healthcare practitioner will always help you pinpoint this window. Do ask us for this unexplained infertility treatment!

3. Reproduction Boosting Medications (Fertility Enhancing Medicine):

You can use these drugs alone or in conjunction with IUI and IVF treatment; they help promote ovulation and egg production. The hormones in gonadotropins are used to treat low sperm counts and increase egg formation. Additionally, clomiphene increases egg production by stimulating the ovaries. Do not take these medications or access them without medical supervision. Your doctor will recommend a course of action depending on your particular health circumstances.

4. Intrauterine Insemination (IUI):

During IUI treatment sperms are cleaned and concentrated in the lab and then are injected inside the womb/ uterus through a specialized plastic catheter. This procedure can be particularly beneficial if the male partner has low sperm count or motility issues, bypassing potential barriers in the reproductive tract.

5. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF):

ART is a form of fertility treatment where the fertilization process is partially carried out outside the body or gametes are processed outside the body to aid fertilization. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF treatment) are two types of ARTs. Using your eggs and your partner’s (or a donor’s) sperm, IVF entails developing embryos in a lab before transferring them to your uterus to develop.

Ready to Navigate Unexplained Infertility?

Undiagnosed infertility may be an upsetting and perplexing condition, because no one is able to ascertain the reasons for unexplained infertility. But then…there are unexplained infertility treatments available to help you, so try not get depressed. Whether exploring lifestyle modifications, medication, or advanced reproductive technologies like IVF, the support and guidance of an IVF specialist can significantly increase the chances of achieving the dream of parenthood. Simply consult a good medical expert who can guide you through these testing times, medically as well as mentally.


A diagnosis of unexplained infertility is given to 15% to 30% infertile couples, according to global-medical-research estimates.

Lifestyle changes like healthy diet, exercise, no smoking and alcohol, etc. as listed above go a long way towards keeping you fertile.

As already listed above: the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA’s research says that 92% of couples who underwent
reproductive treatments, ended up becoming parents.

Causes may include subtle hormonal imbalances, minor reproductive abnormalities, or genetic factors not detected by standard tests.

Treatment options range from lifestyle changes and medication to advanced procedures like intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Yes, maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, moderating alcohol consumption, reducing stress levels, and ensuring a balanced diet can all positively impact fertility.

While conception is possible for some couples with unexplained infertility, assisted reproductive technologies like IVF often offer higher success rates and more predictable outcomes.

IVF success rates vary depending on factors such as age, overall health & the clinic’s expertise, with averages ranging from 40% to 60% per cycle for those under 35.

Dr Shefali Jain

Dr. Shefali Jain is Gynecologist, Obstetrician & Infertility Specialist in Indore with more than 27 years of experience in the field of ART with highest success rate. She has received many awards for her exceptional work in the field of infertility. She has been an invited speaker to many national and international conferences.