Print pageUnexplained Infertility
This is when the sperm is normal, the tubes are patent and there is normal ovulation. This condition affects 25% of couples. If you are young it is sensible to continue trying naturally. If there is no success after 3 years IVF is the best option.
For anyone trying to get pregnant it is important to be healthy to have a normal weight (BMI > 18 <30), to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, to avoid excessive alcohol, smoking and recreational drugs and for the women to take folic acid. The chances of getting pregnant decrease dramatically with age especially beyond the age of 39.
Access to fertility services can be arranged through your GP. The GP can organize basic test such as hormone blood levels and a semen analysis. If these are abnormal you should be referred to a fertility specialist.
If you require IVF/ICSI you may be eligible for primary care trust (PCT) funded treatment. Each PCT has strict criteria for eligibility.
Broadly speaking you must have no existing children, be less than 40 years of age and have a BMI < 30. Most PCT’s will fund one cycle of treatment including the drugs. If you have to pay for treatment the cost can range between £3000-£20,000.
Risks of IVF/ICSI must be considered. The main risk is multiple pregnancy (twins or triplets) if we put back more than one embryo. In women with PCD we would recommend avoiding multiple pregnancy by replacing only one embryo as all the risks of pregnancy are greater with twins. In particular there is a chance of decreased respiratory function as the increased size of the pregnancy compresses the lungs. Twins are also more likely to be born prematurely and could end up with long- term health problems.
An egg collection requires an anaesthetic or deep sedation so it is advisable for the respiratory function to be optimal in women with PCD when they start IVF/ICSI treatment.