Who Should See a Specialist?
Couples who are having trouble with conception often go on to seek the help of a fertility specialist. What can these doctors do for you, and how can you find one? Here are some common questions -- and answers.
Couples seek specialized fertility treatment for many reasons, but there are some general factors that they (and their doctors) typically weigh:
- A woman under 35 has been unable to get pregnant after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse.
- A woman has had a history of three or more miscarriages.
- A woman needs microsurgery or treatment for endometriosis or a blockage or scarring of her fallopian tubes.
- A woman who ovulates irregularly (or not at all) hasn't responded to previous drug treatment.
- A couple has a known risk factor, such as a history of genital infections or pelvic inflammatory disease, a DES mother (a mother who took diethylstilbestrol, a synthetic form of estrogen, during pregnancy), irregular periods, undescended testicles, etc.
- A man's semen analysis shown a low sperm count, poor motility (movement), or poor morphology (structure).
- A couple is considering assisted reproductive technologies, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT).
- A couple has "unexplained infertility" (their basic tests have come back normal, but they haven't had luck in conceiving).