Reproductive Endocrinologist... OB/GYN...
What's the Difference?
An Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB/GYN) is usually the primary resource for female reproductive health questions and concerns. As OB/GYNs are typically the first to hear fertility-related questions from patients, they recommend their patients when it's time to see a Reproductive Endocrinologist (the fertility physician specialist).
What does an OB/GYN do?
After an OB/GYN finishes medical school, they subsequently go through an additional four-year OB/GYN residency program. OB/GYNs exclusively focus on female reproductive health. This includes menstruation, contraception, pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause. Additionally, OB/GYNs provide routine medical services as well as treat sexually transmitted diseases, urinary tract infections, and perform surgery for pelvic organ and urinary tract problems. If a patient is experiencing a fertility-related challenge, the OB/GYN will then refer the patient to a Reproductive Endocrinologist for fertility testing and treatment.
What does a reproductive endocrinologist do?
Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) is a sub-specialty of Obstetrics and Gynecology. After completing the four-year OB/GYN residency program, Reproductive Endocrinologists go through an intense three-year long fellowship in which training is entirely focused on the female reproductive system. This specialist focuses on the biological causes and treatments for infertility.
A Reproductive Endocrinologist detects, evaluates, and treats underlying infertility issues. These issues may include: uterine abnormalities, hormonal irregularities, disorders of the female reproductive tract, endometriosis, and many more. These specialists rely on the use of fertility drugs, microsurgery, in vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination, and other techniques to optimize conception. Lastly, reproductive endocrinologists also evaluate male fertility factors.
When should you talk to a reproductive endocrinologist?
- Women under the age of 35 who have been trying to conceive for at least 12 months
- Women over the age of 35 who have been trying to conceive for 6 months
- Women who have had multiple miscarriages
- Women with a history of pelvic inflammatory disease
- Men with low sperm count/mobility
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Opionato started with one woman’s personal fertility experience and the vision to give others what she lacked. Read Maja’s story here: https://www.opionato.com/blog/what-i-wish-i-knew-my-fertility-journey.