Prognosis-based management of couples with unexplained subfertility
16 April 2019
One in nine heterosexual couples trying to get pregnant do not manage within a year. This is called subfertility.
Subfertile couples undergo fertility tests to see if there is a physical problem that prevents them from becoming pregnant naturally. In many of these couples the doctor does not find a clear problem: the subfertility is "unexplained." This poses a clinical dilemma: Should these couples be treated with a heavy and stressful treatment such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), while this is no guarantee for a successful pregnancy and they can also become pregnant naturally?
PhD student Van Eekelen has researched this problem. He works at the Center for Reproductive Medicine of the Amsterdam UMC, and René Eijkemans is one of his supervisors. Rik concludes that couples with unexplained subfertility do not always benefit from starting treatment immediately. For many...