Unexplained Infertility – Things you didn’t know
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Unexplained infertility, those terrible words that are used too often and that we just hate hearing. Well, what if I told you I absolutely do not believe there is such a thing as unexplained infertility? Well, it’s true. I don’t. If you have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, or you’ve automatically self-diagnosed yourself with unexplained infertility then I want you to leave a comment below and just write in, me. That will tell me that you are part of that community. And now let’s get started or continue actually with explaining the unexplained.
Hi. I’m Dr. Mark Sklar, The Fertility Expert. And I work with couples from all over the world to support them naturally on their fertility journey. And if you are trying to get pregnant then I want you to hit that bell and subscribe so that I can support you on your journey as well. Unexplained infertility is one of the more common diagnoses, if you want to call it a diagnosis, that I see when I work with patients. But I just don’t believe that it’s a real diagnosis. I don’t believe that it’s true. So much so that I have so many notes I need to have my computer for this one because I want to start to explain the unexplained to all of you, and give you things to start to look at that might be a reason for your unexplained or your fertility issue per se.
Okay. And because I don’t believe it so much, that’s actually why I created this training called, Explaining the Unexplained, when it comes to unexplained infertility. And you could register, and sign up for that right here. So I did this training because I think it’s time to call things as they are. Unexplained infertility is not about the reason that it’s something that they can’t find. It’s that they don’t have the patience or the understanding, or willingness to dive deeper to figure out what’s going on. And in this training, I’m going to help you to start to help yourself in figuring that out. You could get the link down below for the free training, or you can just go to marcsklar.com/unexplainedinfertility.
Okay. So let’s get into the meat of explaining the unexplained. The first thing that I want you to know is that just because you’ve been given this diagnosis, it doesn’t mean that it’s a correct diagnosis. It also does not mean that you can’t get pregnant. It just really means that someone hasn’t decided to dig deeper, or cares enough to try to figure out why you are not getting pregnant. And that’s where you have to take control of these things and take your fertility into your own hands, so to speak, and start to dig deeper to figure out why. I’m going to go into some of the things that I guide patients on in trying to figure out why they were given this unexplained diagnosis. And really start to come up with a reason behind it right now. Okay. So it definitely is frustrating diagnosis, but the place to start, and that I often find that patients have, that doctors have ignored, excuse me, is these key areas.
One is ovulation. Are you ovulating properly, and regularly? Two. What is the health and state of your uterus? Is it normal? Are there some abnormalities, either outside or inside the uterus? Are the tubes open? That’s number three. I can’t tell you how many patients I speak to that have never had their fallopian tubes checked, so you just don’t know if that’s a piece to the problem. We’re just guessing that they’re open and no one’s really looking at that and the reason for that is because often those get ignored because of IVF. Because we rely on IVF so much, they tend to ignore some of those basic structural things because they just think they can bypass it all.
All right. What else? Ovarian reserve is it normal. I’ve talked about ovarian reserve in a ton of videos. The importance of it, and also the misunderstandings when it comes to ovarian reserve, and what you can do about that. If you want some more information on ovarian reserve, then I’m going to leave you some videos right here that you can check out as well.
Ultrasound of the pelvic area. Look, it’s very common to have an initial ultrasound to look at your ovaries. But did they actually look at everything in the pelvic area? Where they just focus on your ovaries to see if you are producing follicles? Often that is just the case and they don’t look at the whole pelvic area, including the uterus and the surrounding areas to see if there’s any abnormalities that are in the area that might be inhibiting, or getting in the way of conception. One common thing that I find is that OBGYNs on an ultrasound will actually, on their report of an ultrasound, I should say, well actually report the positioning of the uterus and the cervix, but they don’t really communicate that to patients because they don’t think there’s value in that and they don’t think that it’s important to discuss that. But in reality, if you’re trying naturally, I do find that the position of the uterus and the cervix is an important thing to understand and that might influence how you have intercourse at home.
I just spoke to a patient two days ago on this exact thing. She had no clue that this was the case. But when I read her report, it was there. And we talked a little, we spent about five, 10 minutes actually talking about some sexual positions for her and her husband that might benefit them in their process. We often check hormones and really keep our hormone evaluations limited to, maybe the primary hormone surrounding fertility. But your thyroid function is imperative to your fertility journey. And making sure that you have healthy thyroid function is essential. Not only for conception, but also holding a pregnancy. And actually that same patient that I just mentioned before, with regards to the position of her uterus and her cervix, also we discovered had some thyroid issues that were being ignored. And it actually runs in her family and it was still being ignored.
So, we had to do some additional testing on that to make sure that that wasn’t something that would get ignored anymore, and that we knew how to address that moving forward. So, making sure that your thyroid and all the other systems that influence your endocrine system are functioning properly is another important piece to the process. And obviously an important piece is your partner, or husband. A semen analysis. How many people do not ask their husbands or partners to get a semen analysis, or they do ask and they don’t push enough. Their husbands or partners say, “No. I don’t want to do it.” And they don’t push enough. 45 to 50% of all fertility issues are male factor related. And we can’t and should not ignore that anymore. Not only is a good semen analysis important, it’s essential. It’s an essential piece and I speak about this often, and I can’t tell you how often I still see it, even though I harp on it so much that after years of trying, men have still not gotten their semen analysis done.
Look, it takes two to tango. It’s important that we all are responsible and play our role in this process, and a semen analysis is the easiest piece of this entire process to get evaluated. And, if you are scared that you’re going to find something there, don’t be. If you find it, it’s okay. Now you know that something’s there. Knowledge is power, and let’s do something about it. So semen analysis is also really important when we’re looking to figure out why something is going on. And to point a little bit more on this, I had a patient who sent me her report and when I looked at it, I said to her, inquisitively, “You do see that it says 0% morphology for your husband.” And she said, “Yeah. I just noticed that when I sent that over to you.”
But you’ve been doing IUI’s this whole time, and he’s got 0% and no one’s been focusing on him. So even though he had it done, it still got ignored because people don’t think it’s that important. It is, and we need to ask a lot of questions and we need to push more on this specific piece because it is always ignored.
So, I got so excited by all these different things that I wrote down that I got a little bit sidetracked. So I want to go backwards a little bit and go in a little bit more detail in all of these areas. But first I want to say that just know that when you walk in to your OB’s office, there’s very limited amount of things that they can do and test for. And so typically what they do is send you over to the IVF clinic. And I call it an IVF clinic and not a fertility clinic on purpose. Because what tends to happen when you go down that road, when you go into the fertility clinic, is that they’re going to recommend that you do IVF or IUI.
I have nothing against IUI or IVF, but if you’re going to do it, don’t you want to know why you’re doing it first? And that you’re not just being pushed down there because that’s what they believe, that’s the only treatment they believe they have to offer you. And if you are going to go down the IUI and IVF route, which will be fine for any of you who need to do that. Don’t we want to make it more successful? And that if you’re going to go ahead and spend all that money, energy, and time into that process, don’t you want it to be successful the first or second time instead of spending unnecessary money to figure things out? Well, that’s why we need to figure out what’s going on first. And they’re not going to help you figure out what’s going on first because their objective is to get you pregnant as quickly as possible. And for some of you that’s okay, but in my world I prefer to figure out what’s going on first. And then go down that road so that you can get the results that you’re looking for.
So, on that note, let’s go back to male factor for just a second. I talked about a lot of things there when I was just mentioning getting a semen analysis and how important I think it is. Often you might actually need to have your husband look around to start making necessary changes in his lifestyle as well. And some of those key things is exercise, diet, maybe some additional supplementation, and cell phone radiation, or other chemical toxins that they’re exposed to. Men often carry their phone and I’m pointing there, because that’s where my phone is. They often carry their phone in their back pocket or in their front pocket.
The proximity to their testicles, and their pelvic area is very, very close when we do that. And it does emit radiation and there are studies that show that cell phone radiation and any radiation, even those coming from our computers can cause a disruption in male fertility. So why not do something about that? It’s relatively easy and straightforward to do. And those are just some of the things that we can easily start to take care of. And you can have your partner, or husband start to take care of at home to make things better on your fertility journey, and hopefully impact their fertility in a positive way. So let’s just say you’ve done all those things. Where do we go from here? How do we continue to try to find more answers to explaining the unexplained? Well, sometimes those answers don’t have to do with actual reproductive issues or fertility issues.
Sometimes they do, and we do have to make sure that we’ve looked in all of those areas, right? So I’m not saying jump to all the other things before you’ve figured out, are your fertility hormones proper? Is everything functioning properly? Like I mentioned earlier in this video. Assuming you’ve done all those things. You’ve had all the necessary tests on your uterus, on your hormones, and everything’s looking good. Then where do you go? And these are the sorts of things that I see all the time, right? I just spoke to a patient who had 10 IUI’s. That’s right, 10 IUIs without result because that’s the direction everybody said to go, and no one was bothering to figure out what was going on. So where do we go from here? Well, one of the key things that I always like to discuss is chemical exposure or environmental toxins or other toxins in the environment that might be affecting our overall health and fertility.
Heavy metals are one of them, and mold is another. And there’s all sorts of other chemicals that we’re exposed to all the time, including Roundup and everything else. So we need to figure out what’s going on. Now, I don’t usually start there with patients. I usually start going in other areas before I get there. But that definitely is a piece that we want to look out for all of you. To see what else can you clean up at home to improve your fertility, improve your overall health and get rid of anything, any toxins that might be influencing your endocrine system and reproductive function. So, aside from that, one of the places I always start with patients and often this gets pushed to the top of the list because of its impact on your overall health and your hormones is gut health or your digestive health.
Your digestive system is one of the most important systems in the body, and if this is not functioning properly, so many things start to fall off. You’re not able to metabolize and absorb proper nutrients. So you’re not getting the good nutrition that you need from all the food, let alone the supplements that you’re taking. If the environment in the intestines is not healthy, it can also start to throw off your hormones. And so that’s the microbiome of your intestines can have an impact in multiple areas, including your endocrine system. One of the more common things, or two things that we see are candida or yeast overgrowth, and intestinal permeability or leaky gut. These two areas have a huge impact on estrogen and progesterone balance, hormone regulation and as a byproduct, your fertility. So if you suffer from digestive issues, we’ve got to get that taken care of.
Just yesterday I was on a group call with some of my group patients, or the patients who are in my group program I should say. And two of them I had tested for candida and some yeast overgrowth. And sure enough they were positive. So everything we do has to shift around that. We have to take a step back, we have to prioritize that at the top of the list of things that we need to address. And then once we’ve started down that process and we’ve cleared out the excess candida, we can start to address some of those other issues. And often what I see when we do that, is that 40 to 50, sometimes 60 to 80% of all the symptoms or issues that a patient had before clear up and they no longer have them anymore. And so we’re left with what’s really going on, which makes it much easier to focus our attention on treatment.
And often patients get pregnant when we do that as well. And if you didn’t know, while we’re speaking about the digestive system in the intestines. If you didn’t know, your immune system starts in the gut. So, if you have a history of miscarriage, your immune system can play a role in not allowing for implantation to happen. And if that’s the case, I’m not saying it’s always the case, I’m saying that sometimes it’s the case. And if that’s the case, then possibly cleaning up your digestive system, improving your digestive health, thus improving your immune system can support a healthy pregnancy and help your body hold a pregnancy. So, some of the key things we have to do there is clean up our diet and nutrition so that we can feed our body the right things to start with. I always talk about nutrition and diet as a key thing that we need to do and this is one of the reasons why we do that.
So previously I also spoke about thyroid health and its importance and impact on fertility, but I forgot to mention the labs that I think you should run. So if you are going to take your fertility into your own hands, and you want to go out and actually take more control of this, and have labs tested to make sure that all of your thyroid is being looked at and everything looks A-OK, then these are the lab tests that you want to make sure that you have done. We need to look at TSH, which is thyroid stimulating hormone. We need to look at T4 and T3, which are the two primary hormones produced by your thyroid, and the free aspects of those which is free T3 and free T4, pretty straight forward. We want to look at reverse T3. Because that gives us a little window as to what’s going on with your adrenal glands and how it’s impacting your thyroid.
And then we want to look at the antibodies. So, you want to look at your thyroid antibodies. You can look at those separately or together, and that’s TPO antibody or thyroglobulin antibodies. So, those are the key thyroid hormones to run. Often you have only had TSH run, I suggest you have all of them tested. And if you need a little bit of support to get those tests done on your own, then you can use a link below to order your own labs on your own and take more control of your fertility situation as well.
Speaking of additional testing, one of my favorite tests is hormone testing. And this one is a little bit different, so I’m just assuming that all of you have had the primary fertility hormones done, FSH, LH, estradiol, progesterone, AMH, those are the big ones. But for me, some of the other big ones is to understand what is your body doing with your hormones and to take a deeper dive into your hormone profile.
I use what’s called a Dutch test. It’s a dried urine hormone test. It’s one of my favorite things to use with all my patients. And this gives me a much better understanding and deeper understanding for what your body is doing with your primary hormones. It also gives us an adrenal profile, and gives us a little bit of a look at your B vitamins and your oxidative stress. So, it gives us tons of useful information. I do think this is an important piece that most patients should have done, and most patients don’t know about. And this is something I often use with my patients. So I’m suggesting that you go out and do that as well. Look, this video is getting very long. So I think we’ll maybe have to do a different video on this, but this is what I go into in much more detail in my free training on Explaining the Unexplained.
We go into more testing. I go into the importance of sleep, toxins, lifestyle habits, you name it, I cover it in that video. Because this is what you all need to start to get real answers to your fertility struggles and hopefully get the results that you’re looking for. So thanks for watching. Did you like this video? Leave a comment below letting me know why you did, and how you think it can benefit you. If you like this video, then make sure you give me a thumbs up. Make sure you hit that bell to subscribe so I can give you more information to help you on your fertility journey. And I’m going to leave some extra videos right here that I think you would find useful to support you on your fertility journey. And just to make it a little bit easier for you to get that free training on explaining the unexplained. I’m going to leave that right here as well. So check it out. And until next time, stay fertile.