Using Reproductive Endocrinology for Fertility Problems
Reproductive Endocrinology is a specific area of medicine that diagnoses and treats infertility in both women and men. Around 15 per cent of all couples will experience some type of infertility problem.
A Reproductive Endocrinologist has both the education and experience to help you make important decisions when it comes to your infertility problems such as determining what is keeping you from getting pregnant as well as options for treatment.
The field of endocrinology deals specifically with the body’s hormones. Hormones regulate many different functions in the human body such as metabolism, digestion, and how we react to stress.
Reproductive Endocrinology focuses on those hormones that are responsible for the body’s reproductive function. Both the female ovaries and the male testicles are considered to be part of the endocrine system.
You need this specialization if you’re having difficulty getting pregnant.
Living with Infertility
Infertility is diagnosed in couples who have been trying for one or more years to get pregnant. There are many different factors that contribute to infertility in both women and men.
A Reproductive Endocrinologist will be able to diagnose and treat both you and your partner using a variety of different ARTs (Assisted Reproductive Technology).
Living with infertility can be a disheartening and traumatic time in your life. Not being able to conceive has been compared to many life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
If you and your partner desperately want to start a family you need the advice, guidance, and experience that only a fertility specialist is able to provide.
Your obstetrician/gynaecologist will be able to help you with some of the issues relating to infertility; however, the field of reproductive endocrinology will better assist you if you need to consider fertility treatments such as IVF (in vitro fertilization), artificial insemination, or surrogacy.
The training and experience that a Reproductive Endocrinologist has are vital when it comes to getting pregnant and having a baby.
Should You See a Reproductive Endocrinologist?
For some couples, trying to conceive naturally and have a healthy pregnancy may not come as easily as it does for others.
Some couples may go on to conceive after trying a bit more, but for others, their infertility problems may be so complicated that they need to seek help.
If this is the case for you, your obstetrician/gynaecologist may not be able to provide you with the medical care you need at this time.
Some of the reasons you might choose to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist include the following:
- Infertility that is age-related.
- Hormone imbalance.
- Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes.
- Failure to ovulate.
- Menstrual disorders including irregular periods or no period at all.
- Early menopause.
- Both female and male sexual dysfunction.
- Abnormalities with the ovaries.
- Moderate to mild cases of endometriosis.
- Male infertility issues such as low sperm count.
- Unexplained inability to get pregnant.
All of the above are areas in which a Reproductive Endocrinologist will be able to help you with both diagnosis and treatment options of infertility.
Finding a Reproductive Endocrinologist for Infertility
When you’re going through a life-altering experience such as infertility, it’s important that you find a doctor that you can work with and who you can trust.
Talk to your family doctor first about finding a qualified Reproductive Endocrinologist. If this fails, talk to your obstetrician/gynaecologist and ask for a referral.
If you’ve been trying for at least two years to get pregnant it’s imperative that you find the help and knowledge you need to realize your dreams of becoming a parent.
What to Expect from Reproductive Endocrinology
A Reproductive Endocrinologist will be able to talk to you about your realistic chances of becoming pregnant either naturally or using fertility treatment.
By looking at your medical history and accessing some of the tests that you’ve already undergone, an endocrinologist will be able to determine what further testing you and your partner require so that more exact infertility issues can be diagnosed.
You’ll find out what fertility treatments are best for your individual case and what treatment is going to be your first and best option.
Most Reproductive Endocrinologists will start with the least invasive of fertility treatments before moving on to more invasive and costly methods if you still don’t get pregnant.
You’ll also find out about the side effects and risks of infertility treatments. Side effects will depend on what treatment you’re undergoing.
If you’re going to be taking any hormones as part of your treatment you can expect to experience some side effects such as depression, mood swings, and hot flashes.
Your Reproductive Endocrinologist will be able to prepare you for any side effects that you may potentially experience so that you know ahead of time what to expect.
Making the decision to see an infertility specialist can be a bit overwhelming and stressful. However, if you and your partner are unable to get pregnant naturally, a Reproductive Endocrinologist may be your only hope of starting your family.