Do I Need To See My Gynecologist or a Fertility Specialist?
The question of when and which doctor to consult when you’re trying to conceive is understandable. The answer is not necessarily straightforward, which is where patient confusion tends to originate. Your age, underlying health conditions, whether you’ve already had children previously, how long you’ve been trying to conceive, and more are all factors that will help to decide whether a visit with your gynecologist is more appropriate versus seeking care from a fertility specialist. It’s also entirely possible that after consulting with your gynecologist, they ultimately refer you to a fertility specialist anyway.
To hopefully save patients some time and stress, we wanted to provide a breakdown of when it’s normally best to consult with each type of doctor.
When is it best to consult with my gynecologist first?
Seeing your gynecologist first about reproductive health is generally recommended in several scenarios, including:
- If you’re under of the age 35
- If you have been trying to conceive for less than a year
- If you currently do not have any underlying health conditions that could potentially impact fertility
- If you have a regular period with normal symptoms that do not negatively impact your quality of life
- If you are interested in preconception counseling services (please note that not all gynecologists offer such services; confirm with your doctor if interested)
- If this is your first time trying to conceive
When is it best to seek care from a fertility specialist?
There are many scenarios in which seeing a fertility specialist is more appropriate, including
- If you are over the age of 35 and have been trying to conceive for six months or more
- If you’re younger than 35 but have been trying to conceive for over a year without any success
- If have been diagnosed with a health condition that impacts fertility and/or pregnancy; examples include endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and premature menopause
- If your period is irregular and/or you experience menstrual symptoms that negatively impact your quality of life and have already sought care from your gynecologist
- If you’ve experienced two or more miscarriages, also known as recurrent pregnancy loss
Timing, especially due to concerns about age and reproductive health, can be important for those trying to conceive. It is always better to be proactive because the diagnosis and treatment processes can take weeks, months, or longer.
For more information on reproductive health and fertility care, contact Chelsea Fertility NYC today.