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Reproductive Endocrinologists - Fertility Specialists

Posted Sunday, March 22, 2009 9:51 PM

Reproductive EndocrinologistsCouples facing fertility problems begin the long journey of diagnosis and treatment with their own doctors. Usually, each member of the couple starts out seeing their regular doctors, and perhaps the woman sees her obstetrician/gynecologist. But after awhile, it becomes clear that it would be much simpler—as well as more beneficial—if both members of the couple could see the same doctor.

This is when couples generally need to find a reproductive endocrinologist. This type of doctor is a specialist in reproductive disorders and fertility treatments. And, they are highly skilled, too. Along with completing a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, to become qualified in this field doctors must take two to three years of training in reproductive endocrinology.

Reproductive endocrinologists can treat men and women of any age. They have experience with menstrual disorders, hormonal problems, sexual dysfunction, menopause, and pregnancy loss as well as infertility. So, they are the best specialist for a couple to see when they are trying to figure out why they are having problems conceiving—and the best one to see to help them fix the problems.

The first visit to a reproductive endocrinologist will likely be an information gathering session—both for the doctor and for the patients. The doctor will be asking a lot of questions about health history and possibly may run some basic blood tests. But, he will also ask about the couple’s sexual practices and history. These questions may be embarrassing, but they are necessary in order for the doctor to understand the couple’s infertility situation.

Patients should also use the appointment to gather information about the reproductive endocrinologist and the office, specifically about office policies, hours, and prices. Couples should go into the appointment with a written list of questions that they would like to have answered. By having a list, it will be less likely that they will forget to have some of their key questions answered.

Couples need to ask about office hours and whether or not the doctor will be available by phone. Sometimes it may be necessary to call the doctor with a question; therefore, the couple needs to know if the doctor will be available. Also, they need to find out if there is an extra fee for this.

It is also essential to ask about the lab that the reproductive endocrinologist uses. Some doctors have work with labs that are not open full-time; others may have in-office labs. This is important to know because it wouldn’t be helpful for a couple to be ready for a specific fertility treatment, only to have to wait several days or weeks for a lab.

Success rates are also an important consideration. Couples need to beware of reproductive endocrinologists who brag about excessively high success rates. These doctors are either stretching the truth or they may be more aggressive than the couple may want.

Most reproductive endocrinologists are honest and helpful to their patients. So, it shouldn’t be difficult for a couple to find one who will try his best to help the couple overcome their infertility.

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