Infertility can affect men and women
Infertility is defined when a pregnancy does not happen after 1 year of unprotected sex for women under age 35, and after 6 months of unprotected sex for women over age 35. A variety of factors can lead to infertility. About 35-40% of infertility cases are due to female infertility, while male infertility is a factor in 40% of cases.
OB/GYN or reproductive endocrinologist?
Both OB/GYNs and reproductive endocrinologists study obstetrics and gynecology. But reproductive endocrinologists specialize in treating reproductive endocrinology and infertility. These types of specialists help women get pregnant through assisted reproductive technology (ART).
Helping a hormonal imbalance
Several infertility problems are due to a hormonal imbalance in women. The imbalance disrupts ovulation and interferes with the standard release of the egg from the ovary, which leads to absent or frequent periods. A reproductive endocrinologist works with patients to resolve these hormonal imbalances.
Different treatments for different patients
Fertility treatments vary based on the patient, the patient’s medical history, and personal preferences. Fertility treatments can attempt to restore fertility through medication or surgery. Other treatments help women get pregnant with advanced techniques.
Fertility drugs can help trigger ovulation
Reproductive endocrinologists can prescribe fertility drugs to stimulate the body to release hormones that trigger or regulate ovulation. These drugs are either in a pill or an injection. Fertility drugs have been used for infertility treatment for over 40 years and are often used in combination with other fertility methods.
When you need more than fertility drugs
For some couples, fertility drugs alone do not lead to conception. In those cases, a reproductive endocrinologist may recommend ART to treat infertility. These treatments work by removing eggs from a woman’s body and mixing with the sperm to make embryos. The embryos are then put back into a woman’s body. A common and useful type of ART is in vitro fertilization (IVF).
If you need help getting pregnant
Sometimes couples need help getting pregnant. Reproductive endocrinologists help women and couples overcome infertility and get pregnant. These medical specialists can provide treatment recommendations that can lead to a successful and healthy pregnancy.