For many people, starting or expanding a family is a cherished dream. However, the journey toward parenthood can be filled with unexpected challenges and roadblocks. When it comes to fertility, every individual’s journey is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving a successful pregnancy. This is where a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) comes in.
What is a Reproductive Endocrinologist?
A reproductive endocrinologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of reproductive disorders. They are specially trained in both obstetrics and gynecology, as well as reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Reproductive endocrinologists are experts in the complex hormonal and physiological processes involved in human reproduction.
When should I see a Reproductive Endocrinologist?
Fertility challenges can affect anyone at any stage of their reproductive life, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, or relationship status. If you are struggling to conceive, you should consider seeing a reproductive endocrinologist after you have been trying to conceive for a year without success if you are under the age of 35. If you are over the age of 35, you should see a reproductive endocrinologist after six months of trying to conceive. Your OB-GYN may be a good resource for a reproductive endocrinologist referral.
However, there are other factors that may impact your fertility, such as a history of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, abnormal, irregular, or painful menstrual cycles, or history of a pelvic infection or surgery, such as a ruptured appendix. If any of these apply to you, or even if something just feels “off”, it is important to consult with a reproductive endocrinologist as soon as possible.
What to Expect During Your First Visit
A lot of people have absolutely no idea what to expect prior to their first appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist – and this can be both exciting and nerve-racking! Knowing what to expect during this visit can help you feel prepared and empowered – and also help ease any feelings of nervousness.
During your first visit with a reproductive endocrinologist, you can expect to undergo a thorough medical evaluation that will include a review of your medical history, a physical exam, and diagnostic tests. Your medical history will include information about any previous pregnancies, surgeries, or medical conditions that may be impacting your fertility. Diagnostic tests will be used to assess your fertility and identify any underlying conditions that may be impacting your ability to conceive. These tests may include bloodwork to check hormone levels, a transvaginal ultrasound to assess the health of your reproductive organs, and a semen analysis for your partner, if applicable.
Navigating fertility challenges can be an emotional and overwhelming experience. However, it’s important to remember that you are not alone and there are resources available to help you. If you are struggling to conceive, don’t hesitate to reach out to a reproductive endocrinologist for guidance and support. With the right diagnosis and treatment, you can take steps toward achieving your dream of parenthood.