You should seek the help of a reproductive doctor after one year of unprotected sex if you are under the age of 35 and after six months if over 35. Once you begin your journey of fertility treatments, you are certain to encounter numerous doctors and experts that will assist you. This handy list will help you get more familiar with these resources, and how to work with each of them!
Reproductive Doctor #1: Obstetrician-Gynaecologist
This one seems pretty obvious, but your OB-GYN will be instrumental in setting you on your path to conceiving a child. Meeting with your OB-GYN is an important first step in conceiving. In preparation for this visit, be sure to come up with a detailed list of your family’s medical history - you may have to call a few relatives to confirm certain things.
Reproductive Doctor #2: Endocrinologist
Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility is a subset of Obstetrics and Gynecology that focuses on:
- Caring for pregnant women
- Delivering babies
- Treatment of any disorders of the female reproductive tract
You should see a Reproductive Endocrinologist if you have been trying for a year without success to get pregnant, if you have a history of infertility or miscarriages, your periods have become irregular or have stopped, and if you are over the age of 35.
Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility specialists also focus on hormonal disorders in both women and men. They can treat hormonal disorders in men and women even outside of infertility.
Reproductive Doctor #3: Andrologist
Andrology is a medical concentration focusing on problems with the male reproductive system and urology. It is considered to be the male counterpart of gynecology. Where Urologists treat disorders of both the male and female urinary tracts, Andrologists treat specifically the male urinary tract. Andrologists tackle problems like undescended testes, injuries and disorders, and any other physical ailments that may affect male genitalia. Things like heart disease, high blood pressure, and kidney failure can also affect fertility, so andrologists will typically collaborate with specialists in those fields to treat the problem.
Reproductive Doctor #4: Reproductive Immunologist
Reproductive Immunologists focus on the interaction (or lack thereof) of the immune system and the reproductive system. In the instance of immunological fertility issues, the body identifies the fetus as a foreign body and proceeds to attempt to be rid of the fetus.
How do you know if you need to consult a Reproductive Immunologist? You should see an expert if you have had:
- 2 or more miscarriages after the age of 35,
- 2 IVF failures after the age of 35,
- 3 miscarriages before the age of 35,
- 1 failed IVF before the age of 35,
- Poor egg production from a stimulated cycle.
The process of getting pregnant can involve an army of experts and medical professionals. It’s important to understand the role each of these experts will play in your journey to fertility.