Many infertile patients can't understand what their doctors mean when they tell them that their diagnosis is unexplained infertility. How can unexplained possibly be a diagnosis ? Does this mean that the doctor is clueless and they need to find a better doctor ?
Unexplained does not that mean there is no cause for the infertility - it just means that our technology is not able to find the reason. Part of the problem is that patients still have very unrealistic expectations of doctors and medical technology. They naively believe that we have the answers to all their questions, while the reality is that we don't.
Unexplained just means that we can't find an explanation for their infertility , and this is because the technology, tools and tests we use do have their own limitations.
However, that's really no reason for a patient to get frustrated. Their biggest fear is that if we can't find a reason for their infertility , how will we be able to help them to have a baby?
I remind them that they should be grateful that their test results are normal - this means that everything's working fine - their fallopian tubes are open, they ovulate regularly, and the sperm count is normal. It would be so much worse to have blocked tubes for example, because then you wouldn't have a chance of getting pregnant at all without some kind of medical intervention.
They turn around and say, "But at least if you knew what the problem was , you could then solve it." I remind them that is flawed reasoning. " How does knowing the problem make you any happier ? Part of the reason you are thinking this way is because you are focusing on problems, while you should actually be focusing on solutions. Just because we can't identify a problem, doesn't mean that we can't identify a solution. We can always bypass hurdles without knowing exactly what those hurdles are."
The good thing about unexplained infertility is that IVF technology can help us to bypass any and all in vivo hurdles, even if they remain unidentified and unexplained. The success rates for IVF for patients with unexplained infertility are actually very good, provided the patient is young , and hasn't wasted too much time praying for a miracle.
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