What is unexplained infertility?
If you’ve tried to get pregnant for a year or more, and there’s no explanation for your lack of success, you have unexplained infertility. This does not mean you won’t conceive. But how long should you wait before starting fertility treatment? The answer depends on your expected chance of conceiving with and without fertility treatment, and on personal preferences. Our Pregnancy Probability Tool can help you decide what to do next.
Pregnancy Probability Tool
The Pregnancy Probability Tool is designed for couples where:
- the woman has regular menstrual cycles, has at least one open fallopian tube and is 42 years old or younger
- the man has had a sperm test
Using four questions, it gives you three estimates of your chance of pregnancy over the next year if you:
- just keep trying
- have simple fertility treatment such as intrauterine insemination (IUI)
- have more complex fertility treatment such as IVF
|40% or above||You have a good chance of avoiding the need for costly fertility treatments. Keep trying and if not pregnant after 6-12 months get advice from a fertility specialist about the next steps|
|30% to 40%||You have a good chance of avoiding the need for costly fertility treatments. Keep trying and if not pregnant after 6 months get advice from a fertility specialist about the next steps|
|less than 30%||Get advice from a fertility specialist about the next steps, as soon as possible|
Should I try for another six months?
Although IVF might look like the fastest option, it can be expensive, costing most people thousands of dollars. And like any medical procedure, IVF carries risks, particularly for women. So, if you have a 30% chance or more of a spontaneous pregnancy, trying for another six months can help you avoid the costs and risks of fertility treatment without reducing your chance of a baby. Talk to your doctor about your options and consider holding off on treatment if you have a good chance of getting pregnant without it.
How to improve your chance of a pregnancy
Get your timing right
Your window of opportunity to fall pregnant each month is small. Pregnancy is only possible if you have sex during the three days leading up to ovulation or on the day of ovulation. This calculator can help you work out when you are likely to ovulate. Knowing your body and how it changes when ovulation is approaching can help. For example, a few days before ovulation, vaginal mucus changes and becomes clear and slippery; a bit like egg white which is perfect for sperm to swim along! If you notice this, it’s time to have sex.
Be as healthy as possible
Some lifestyle factors can affect your chance of getting pregnant and the health of your baby. When trying to conceive, men and women should both strive to:
- Be in the healthy weight range
- Not smoke
- Eat a healthy nutritious diet and exercise regularly
- Take a folate and iodine supplement (women only)
- Avoid alcohol
- Avoid contact with toxic chemicals in the work and home environments
- See a doctor if you suspect an infection or other inflammation.
Have a pre-conception health check
See your doctor for a pre-conception health check to make sure you’re as healthy as possible. Check that your immunisations are up-to-date and that any medication or complementary therapy you’re taking is safe.
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