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When to see a Reproductive Specialist

Feb 07, 2013 03:41PM ● By tina

When is it time to seek help with fertility?

Sponsored by Fertility Specialists of Texas

Written by Dr. Rebecca Chilvers

So you want to have a baby?

For many people conceiving a child is straightforward; remove hormonal and physical barriers to conception and let nature take its course. Nine months after a missed period the baby arrives.  However for millions of intended parents, this simple recipe does not produce the desired result.  You may be asking yourself how patient you should be before consulting with a fertility specialist, also known as a reproductive endocrinologist. 

Classically speaking, infertility is defined as not having conceived despite 12 months of unprotected intercourse.  So if you are young, have regular menstrual cycles, and have no gynecologic problems, you may elect to wait 12 months before obtaining a formal evaluation.  For women 35 years of age and older, it is generally recommended that one see a fertility specialist after 6 months of trying to conceive.

However, if you or your partner have a known medical condition that may make it difficult to conceive, then it is wise not to wait but to have an evaluation as soon as you desire to conceive in order to see what is occurring and what treatment options are available.  For instance, endometriosis is a condition in which the lining of the uterus is shed not only vaginally but also through the fallopian tubes back into the lower abdomen where it produces pain and inflammation, which adversely affects embryos and can cause scar tissue/adhesion formation leading to impaired function of the fallopian tubes.  Heavy bleeding in a female may be due to irregular or absent ovulation or due to benign tumors in the uterus called fibroids, and both conditions can interfere with fertility.  A male who has had prior chemotherapy may have a significantly reduced sperm count and need medical assistance to allow his remaining sperm to fertilize an egg.  For each of the example conditions above, there are specific remedies available.  

Other factors that point to the need to seek a specialist are those that involve lack of critical components for conception.  Eggs, sperm, fallopian tubes, and a uterus are all needed for conception.  Fortunately, with today’s technology, there are donor sources of eggs and sperm that can be used in such procedures as IVF and intrauterine insemination.  Many women are willing to be gestational carriers (also incorrectly known as surrogates) allowing their wombs to be used for another couple trying to conceive.  Diseased or absent fallopian tubes can be bypassed using IVF.

Furthermore, some patients have been able to conceive but have not been able to maintain a pregnancy.  After two consecutive miscarriages, it is accepted that a consultation is appropriate for these women.  In addition, if a couple has a medical condition in their family that they would like to avoid in their children, then genetic testing of embryos can be done in combination with in vitro fertilization (IVF). 

At Fertility Specialists of Texas, we understand each patient and couple is unique and that they have specific needs and preferences.  We strive to work with you to fulfill your desire for pregnancy in a caring and efficient manner.  Currently we have three offices (in Frisco, Dallas, and Grapevine) to conveniently provide patients with access to see our fertility specialists.  With pregnancy rates among the highest in the nation, the goal of conception is more attainable than ever.  If you are considering consultation, please visit our website at Fertility Specialists of Texas to learn more or call us at (214) 618-2044.  

Recognized for pregnancy rates among the highest in the nation, the team at Fertility Specialists of Texas shares a passion for helping create families.  Dr. Jerald Goldstein established the practice in 2005 with the goal of providing world-class treatments and highly individualized patient care.  Dr. Dorette Noorhasan and Dr. Rebecca Chilvers, both fellowship trained in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, joined the team of specialists in 2012.  The practice areas of expertise include in vitro fertilization, recurrent pregnancy loss, polycystic ovarian syndrome, donor egg, fertility preservation and male factor infertility issues.