What Is a Reproductive Endocrinologist?
If you are facing challenges with infertility or other reproductive health issues, you might be uncertain about the appropriate healthcare provider to consult. While women typically consult an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN) and men often seek advice from a urologist, you may find it preferable to consult a reproductive endocrinologist. Often referred to as fertility specialists, these healthcare professionals specialize in diagnosing and treating infertility by focusing on the endocrine system, which includes the body’s hormones and the glands responsible for their production.
Reproductive Endocrinologists’ Education
Reproductive endocrinologists are physicians in obstetrics-gynecology with additional education. They focus on the endocrine system, responsible for regulating the body’s many hormones – chemicals that help cells communicate with each other. Among many other bodily processes, the endocrine system regulates reproduction, sexual development, and fertility.
Reproductive endocrinologists, like OB-GYNs, earn a bachelor's degree in a science-based field. They must pass the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) to enter a four-year medical school program. They complete a residency program, in obstetrics and gynecology, followed by three years of practice for specialization. OB/GYNs then obtain American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology certification. They must then complete a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology. Reproductive endocrinologists are also required to complete national board certification, involving written and oral exams, and their specific state’s medical licensure.
Reasons To Visit a Reproductive Endocrinologist
Infertility is a growing health concern and, in the United States, it’s estimated that about 19% of reproductive-aged women will face a fertility issue at some point.
Fertility Testing & Evaluation
Reproductive endocrinologists diagnose and treat endocrine disorders related to fertility, whether directly or indirectly. The first time you meet with a reproductive endocrinologist, the first step will be to perform an initial infertility testing assessment, which typically includes:
- Medical and reproductive histories
- Complete physical exams, including X-rays of the uterus and fallopian tubes
- Genetic testing and carrier screenings
- Ovarian reserve fertility test, which assesses the number of ovarian follicles
- Blood tests, which measure key reproductive hormones
Reproductive endocrinologists treat multiple fertility issues, whether with medications or procedures.
- Menstrual issues, like irregular, absent, or painful periods
- Recurrent pregnancy loss
- Undergoing treatment(s) that may affect fertility
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Uterine fibroids
Fertility Treatments Provided
Reproductive endocrinologists specialize in performing a wide array of fertility care procedures, from the most basic to the most advanced. Some of these fertility treatments include:
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI), also commonly referred to as artificial insemination
- In vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Elective egg freezing
- Fertility preservation and oncofertility
- Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT)
- Egg donation
- Gestational surrogacy
- LGBTQ+ family building
Schedule a Consultation with a Reproductive Endocrinologists
If you find yourself grappling with the challenges of infertility, the choice of the right healthcare provider is crucial. For the most comprehensive insights and personalized fertility care, consider consulting a reproductive endocrinologist. If you’re in the New York City metropolitan area, we invite you to explore the services at Chelsea Fertility NYC. Our team is dedicated to helping individuals and couples navigate their fertility journey with compassion and expertise. Take the first step towards building your family – schedule a consultation with Chelsea Fertility NYC today.