Is an OB a Fertility Doctor?
Most women start seeing an OB-GYN during their teens or early adulthood but don’t really think about the OB (obstetrician) part unless they’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
At the start, which women’s health specialist you see is up to you. As long as you like them, they are skilled in their field, and they have a solid reputation for good care, then you’ve chosen the right one!
Of course, all OB-GYN’s are trained to care for a woman’s reproductive system in general, and that includes tending to pregnant women and dealing with some of the issues surrounding pregnancy and delivery. Your doctor may even be able to help you on the road to conception if you have questions about getting pregnant and what that means to you and your body.
But what if there’s a problem? Are all OBs trained to be specialists in fertility and can they help you figure out what’s stopping you from getting pregnant. You might wonder: Is an OB a fertility doctor? Not really.
That’s not to say that some obstetricians aren’t specially trained to address fertility issues. Some are. However, the person who can truly call themselves a fertility doctor is an OB-GYN who receives extra training specific to fertility issues.
Most have three to five years additional education where they are schooled in the particulars of reproductive endocrinology and fertility. That’s why you’ll sometimes see fertility doctors that advertise as “reproductive endocrinologists”, which is simply a more formal title.
In addition, a fertility doctor can work with both female AND male patients to diagnose the issues that are causing infertility. Conversely, an OB-GYN only works with female patients and doesn’t usually have enough extensive knowledge of the male reproductive system to determine what might be preventing conception.
Why see a fertility doctor?
Obviously, if you wish to get pregnant and have no problem conceiving, it’s fine for your regular OB to be your sole doctor and for him/her to continue to monitor your pregnancy.
However, if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for the last year (less if you’re older), it’s likely time to figure out what’s happening and what can potentially be done to fix the problem, if possible. A fertility doctor can help with that.
Other reasons to see a fertility specialist include:
• Multiple miscarriages
• A history of pelvic inflammatory disease or other menstrual-related problems
• You or your partner have an STD
• You are grossly overweight
• You’re over 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for 6 months or more
These issues – and others surrounding infertility – are those that a fertility specialist has been trained to address. Furthermore, he or she is familiar with the testing that needs to be done to diagnose particular conditions and, most importantly, can address those conditions and offer honest opinions as to a woman’s ability to conceive either naturally or with assistance.
How do I know if seeing a fertility specialist is right for me?
About 10 percent of women in the United States – some 6 million in all – report having problems getting pregnant. That’s a lot! As such, many turn to fertility doctors, who literally help hundreds of thousands of women each year recognize their goal of becoming a mother.
A woman should never be hesitant or embarrassed about seeing a fertility specialist. Most women who’ve used fertility doctors will tell you that despite the stress of the entire process, they are happy to find a doctor who can truly move them in the right direction in a kind and considerate, professional and knowledgeable manner.
A good first step to solving your fertility issues is to schedule a consultation with one of the doctors in our office. After a thorough discussion about medical history, lifestyle, and more, our specialists can start you down the road to your goal. For more information and to schedule an appointment, call our office at Call (732) 339-9300.Go back