Looking for a pregnancy and not getting it is a frustrating and stressful situation for any couple. If to this situation, surrounded by uncertainty, we add the lack of answers, these feelings intensify even more. This is what happens in the case of infertility of unknown origin (EOD), in cases in which, after performing the necessary tests, the cause of infertility is not found, something that occurs in around 20% of patients. cases where couples are unable to conceive.
The good news is that, although the cause of infertility is not known, assisted reproduction treatments are just as effective, as Dr. Javier Martínez Guisasola, director of IVI Burgos, tells us.
Why are there so many cases of sterility of unknown origin (EOD)?
The percentage of cases of sterility of unknown origin (EOD) or sterility with no apparent cause is quite high. This has a double reading, since there is a tendency to think that there is no cause, and it does not have to be the case, “in 15-20% of couples we do not find a cause of sterility when the basic study is carried out and in many of They, despite expanding with more advanced diagnostic studies, we continue without establishing a cause that explains why there is no pregnancy.
These situations can be, in part, explained because there is no specific problem that justifies the difficulty and in other cases because with the current means, although they are many and very advanced, we still cannot diagnose all the causes “, explains Doctor Javier Martínez Guisasola. The age of the woman will be decisive in these cases, as the ability to conceive decreases over the years.
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More restlessness and uncertainty
When a couple goes to a reproduction center they will attend, not only looking for help, but also for answers, and in the case of a DOE, they do not find them, “establishing the diagnosis ‘without apparent cause’ causes in the couple a certain degree of uneasiness, since who come in search of a diagnosis that allows establishing a specific treatment of the cause in order to solve their reproductive problem.
For this reason, on many occasions, the degree of stress in the face of this lack of diagnosis is higher than when we establish a concrete and solvable cause ”. In this case, if the anguish is very great, it is recommended that couples have psychological support, something that is recommended in any case of infertility, although the cause is known, “in these couples, as in most of the couples who attend human reproduction consultations, psychological support is very necessary to face these situations and reduce the burden of anxiety as much as possible ”, advises Martínez Guisasola.
How Unexplained Infertility is Treated
Assisted reproduction treatments are the same as if a reason is found, with the difference that, instead of directing them to a specific cause, they act according to trial error, “in cases of sterility without apparent cause, the treatments and assisted reproductive techniques are not aimed at treating any specific cause, rather it is determined to start empirically, and highly conditioned by the age of the woman, which acts as a limiting factor ”. For this reason, depending on this age, some techniques or others will be recommended.
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Normally, a staggered treatment is programmed and progresses from the simplest techniques to the most complex if these do not work. Thus, ” in couples under 35 years of age with 1 or 2 years seeking pregnancy, it is first recommended to modify some harmful lifestyle habits such as stress, tobacco, alcohol, poor diet, obesity, etc.”, which harm fertility. You can also recommend scheduled intercourse, keep track of fertile days, etc.
If, after a reasonable period of time, the pregnancy is not achieved, “the realization of inseminations with controlled ovarian stimulation will be considered, knowing that the possibility of pregnancy is 15% in each insemination.
If the inseminations do not achieve the desired results or it is a question of women older than 35-37 years in which the passage of time has a negative effect, IVF (in vitro fertilization) can be considered as a reproduction technique , whose pregnancy rate reaches and even exceeds 50% ”, explains Dr. Martínez Guisasola
How successful are treatments for EOD?
Although they are not directed to a specific cause, fertility treatments are just as effective, and in most cases, couples achieve their goal of being parents, therefore, professionals try to transmit optimism to these couples despite the extra uncertainty they face, “we convey to them that the prognosis is favorable despite not knowing why, but being aware of the determining factor of the woman’s age, a factor considered essential and limiting when it comes to achieving pregnancy. spontaneous ”, they say.
And, according to IVI data, “the spontaneous pregnancy rate, without any treatment, at two years is 30% and can reach 70% -80% at three years .” Even so, and always taking into account the age of the woman, it is best to undergo treatments to increase the chances of success, ” spontaneous management of these situations should always be considered based on the age of the woman , therefore that in cases of women older than 34-35 years, or even 30 depending on the time they have been trying, replacing expectant management with the application of some assisted human reproduction technique generally achieves better and faster results ”.
That is If we want to eliminate uncertainty and speed up the process, it is best to resort to these treatments and not wait for the pregnancy to occur spontaneously.