Evidence-based Treatments for Couples with Unexplained Infertility
Patient Guideline Summary
- Infertility is the inability to become pregnant by natural means. In 70% of cases, the cause can be identified and cause-specific treatments can be pursued. The remaining 30% may undergo several treatment trials to become pregnant before considering in vitro fertilization (IVF) (the process of becoming pregnant using a medical laboratory instead of having sexual intercourse).
- This patient summary lists several procedures to enhance fertility when the cause is not known.
- An initial evaluation will determine if your and your partner’s anatomy and hormone function are normal, thereby ruling out a specifically treatable cause.
- Several attempts will be made to enhance your fertility:
- Clomiphene is a tablet that stimulates your production of eggs. It is combined with the instillation of sperm into the womb.
- Letrozole, a tablet that is used to treat breast cancer, can be used in place of clomiphene. It alters the production of sex hormones. It is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for infertility.
- Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG), a natural hormone that supports pregnancy, can be injected as a shot at the same time as sperm is instilled into the womb.
- The ASRM recommends IVF rather than hCG.
- FDA: Food And Drug Administration
- IVF: In Vitro Fertilization
- hCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Electronic address: email@example.com; Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Evidence-based treatments for couples with unexplained infertility: a guideline. Fertil Steril. 2020 Feb;113(2):305-322. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2019.10.014. PMID: 32106976.