What is a Reproductive Endocrinologist?

by | February 14th, 2011

When a woman decides to get pregnant, she assumes her Ob-Gyn will oversee her care and treatment. While this may be true in many cases, 1 in 8 couples experiences difficulty getting pregnant. If you need help conceiving, you should see a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). These specialists have the training and experience to diagnose male infertility and female infertility. As well, an RE can offer treatment options such as ovulation stimulation, intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in-vitro fertilization to help couples make their way to parenthood.

In addition to training in an Obstetrics and Gynecology program, REs must also complete a two-to-three-year infertility fellowship that concludes with strenuous oral and written exams for board certification. Because of their advanced training and expertise, reproductive endocrinologists can identify issues such as ovulatory dysfunction, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis or a low sperm count that keep couples from conceiving a child. If you have tried to conceive for more than 12 months, six months if you are over 35, it’s time to consider seeing a fertility specialist, or RE.

Once you make the decision to see an RE, it can feel daunting to select the right doctor. The following tips can help you find a fertility specialist that will meet your needs:

  • Ask your Ob-Gyn for recommendations. Usually, he or she will have the names of several qualified reproductive endocrinologists in the area.
  • Get referrals. Start with friends, family and co-workers and see what names they can offer.
  • Utilize the Internet. Most fertility clinics have Web sites that will give you an overview of their services and allow you to get a feel for the staff and level of care.
  • Schedule consultation appointments with your top choices. This meeting will give you a chance to ask questions and determine if the RE’s qualifications and personality suit your needs. Sometimes intuition plays a part, but don’t discount success rates and experience. What may “feel right” may not be the best doctor to help you and your partner become parents.

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