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Infertility

When to See a Fertility Specialist

A fertility specialist is usually an obstetrician-gynecologist (specialist in women's reproductive health) with advanced education, research, and professional skills in reproductive endocrinology. These highly trained and qualified doctors are the specialists to see about infertility.

You may want to talk to your health care provider for a referral to a clinic where doctors and staff have this special training. In addition, fertility clinics often have specialized equipment and imaging technology needed to make a diagnosis and to do semen testing and other specialized tests right at the office.

Check the InterNational Council on Infertility Information Dissemination Web site directory of professional members or the American Society for Reproductive Medicine for a specialist and clinic in your area.

Infertility is a problem that involves both partners. Therefore, the infertility specialist evaluates both the woman and the man. Testing for infertility is usually not done until after the couple has tried to become pregnant for at least 1 year if the woman is younger than 35 years or for 6 months if she is older than 35 years.

Outlook

For most couples (up to 90%), a cause for the infertility is found. Pregnancy  occurs with the use of fertility drugs or corrective surgery in up to 60% of infertile couples, once they are evaluated and treated. Advanced techniques such as surgery, insemination, or in vitro fertilization can help even more couples achieve pregnancy.

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