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When Is The Right Time To See A Fertility Doctor?

You've been trying to get pregnant, but it just isn't happening. Should you keep on trying, or is it time to see a fertility specialist? It can be nerve-racking thinking about the possibility of infertility, but early intervention can be key to getting a baby bump sooner rather than later. Even if you have been timing your intercourse around your ovulation times and have been to your OB/GYN in the past 6 months to get a clean bill of health, getting pregnant can still be elusive, and you might need help.

What is a fertility doctor?
An OB/GYN who solely specializes in fertility treatments is a reproductive endocrinologist. Your general OB/GYN might already be board certified as a fertility doctor and prepared to walk you through any further infertility treatments. However, there is a chance that your general OB might not be the best person to help you get pregnant because he or she doesn't focus only on fertility and might not know the latest treatment options.

When should I be worried?
According to RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, talk to your OB/GYN about getting a referral to a reproductive endocrinologist if one or more of the following applies to you:

  • You are under the age of 35 and haven't gotten pregnant after 12 months of unprotected intercourse.
  • You are over the age of 35 and haven't gotten pregnant after 6 months of unprotected intercourse.
  • You have had more than one miscarriage.
  • You have painful or irregular periods.
  • Your ovulation is random or unpredictable.
  • You or your partner have a history of sexually transmitted diseases.

Will I have to ditch my OB/GYN?
Even if you transfer your care to a fertility specialist, you will still see your OB/GYN again. After you get pregnant, your reproductive endocrinologist will likely follow your care closely for the first 8 to 12 weeks, but after your first trimester, you will "graduate" back to the care of an OB/GYN who will continue with prenatal care and deliver your baby.

To find a list of reproductive endocrinologists throughout the United States, check out the U.S. News & World Report Doctor Finder.