Why Use a Reproductive Endocrinologist
Reproductive Endocrinologists: The Fertility Experts
If you are having trouble getting pregnant, you may need to see a reproductive endocrinologist sooner rather than later.
What is a reproductive endocrinologist?
A reproductive endocrinologist (RE) is a gynecologist who has received board certification in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, completing additional fellowship training in the causes, evaluation, and treatment of infertility.
One of the biggest mistakes an intended mother can make is staying with her ob-gyn for too long and wasting valuable time. This is especially true if she is over 30 years old. Visiting a reproductive endocrinologist may seem like a big step, or an admission of defeat. In truth, consulting with a reproductive endocrinologist may help you determine earlier if there is a problem and allow you to move toward a solution while your own eggs are still viable.
If you are over age 30 and have been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for six months or more, do yourself a favor and visit a reproductive endocrinologist. Your ob-gyn may be the most wonderful doctor on earth, but he or she is not an expert in fertility. No physician can be an expert in every nuance of medicine. I have heard far too many sad tales of fertile years wasted on repeated rounds of Clomid.
I had a client who sought the help of several ob-gyns over a 10-year period to find out why she wasn’t getting pregnant. At her first appointment with an endocrinologist, the mystery was solved. She was not getting pregnant because her cervix was closed. At this point she was no longer able to use her own eggs. If she had seen a reproductive endocrinologist 10 years earlier, while she was in her thirties, she would have been able to have a genetically related child.
Another friend was married in her late thirties and tried to start a family in her early forties. She visited an ob-gyn who was very encouraging because my friend’s hormonal levels were “high.” She was told to 'just relax and she should be able to get pregnant without any problems'. High follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels indicate that your chances of getting pregnant are encumbered. Your chances of getting pregnant are best if your FSH levels are in the single digits. Through Gail’s encouragement, her friend scheduled an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist, and they are working on an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle.
Both the intended mother and the intended father should attend the initial appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist. It is important for both of you to have a complete workup. Look at this as an opportunity for some fine-tuning. Fertility issues are almost as common as braces are for adolescents. Not everyone needs braces, but some do. If you see an orthodontist to straighten your teeth, is that a blight on your personal character? No, of course not. The same goes for fertility. Sometimes it is just necessary to enlist an expert. Scheduling an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist is a positive step toward family building and can save you years of frustration.