Fertility specialists are reproductive endocrinologists. They are obstetrician/gynecologists who have studied the additional subspecialty of reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
When a couple is having trouble becoming pregnant on their own, a fertility specialist can diagnose the cause or causes of the infertility and recommend and provide treatment, whether the problem is physical, hormonal, emotional or a combination of various factors.
When to see a fertility specialist
For healthy women under 35, it can take up to a year to become pregnant. If you don’t have any of the medical issues or risk factors listed below, 12 months is a good benchmark to set for when to seek help from a fertility specialist.
If you are healthy and over 35, reduce your wait to six months. Egg quality and fertility begin to drop off at this age.
If you fit any of the conditions below, consider seeing a fertility specialist sooner.
1) You are 40 and up
2) Your mother or sister went through early menopause (before age 40)
3) You have endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), or a thyroid condition
4) You’ve had multiple miscarriages
5) You have a complex medical history, including high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease or cancer
6) You or your partner have a known fertility issue
With the help of a fertility specialist, a great many couples are able to conceive and carry a healthy baby to term.
If your eggs must be harvested for a fertility procedure, your doctor will perform an egg retrieval.
You’ll be asleep during the procedure, so there will be no pain or discomfort. The doctor uses ultrasound to visualize your ovary. Next, a thin needle is inserted through the vaginal wall and into a follicle, a fluid-filled sac containing an egg. The fluid and the egg are gently aspirated through the needle. Your doctor will repeat this procedure until the desired number of eggs have been harvested.
A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test is a common test used to diagnose infertility. A contrast dye is injected into the uterus through the vagina and cervix. Using X-ray, doctors can see how the dye flows through the reproductive structures. If no dye enters one or both of the Fallopian tubes, this can indicate a blockage that is causing infertility.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
IVF is an advanced fertility treatment whereby healthy sperm and eggs are combined in a laboratory setting to facilitate conception. The cells may be allowed to combine naturally, or the sperm may be injected directly into the egg during a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
The embryos will develop outside the womb for several days before one or more healthy embryos are transferred to the woman’s uterus. The hope is at least one of these embryos will implant into the uterine wall to create a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Male Infertility Treatment
Sometimes infertility can be caused by male factors or a combination of male and female factors.
Some common causes of male infertility include low sperm quality, hormonal issues, or blockages. These can be caused by health issues, injuries or lifestyle choices.
● Low sperm count is when the quantity of sperm present in the semen is abnormally reduced
● Sperm quality issues occur when sperm are malformed or are unable to locomote effectively through the woman’s reproductive tract to the Fallopian tube
● Blockages can keep healthy sperm from leaving the testicles
● Varicoceles, varicose veins in the testicle, have been known to cause infertility, possibly by raising the temperature in the scrotum
A fertility specialist can conduct tests to find out if there are male infertility issues affecting your ability to conceive a child.
A vasectomy is meant to be a permanent form of birth control, but sometimes a man’s circumstances change and he wishes to become a father again. In this case he may choose to have a vasectomy reversal.
A vasectomy reversal requires your doctor to reconnect the ends of the vas deferens that were severed and cauterized during the vasectomy. Sometimes the tube must be connected directly to the epididymis. A vasectomy reversal is a delicate surgical procedure that is done with microsurgery using sutures finer than a human hair.
Vasectomy reversals are often successful when performed by an experienced microsurgeon, but success rates depend on a number of factors, including how long ago the vasectomy was performed, the length of the vas deferens left, and the quality of the reproductive structures.
Our center is a state of the art surgery center compliant with all current certification requirements for federal, state and local governments. Our facility is designed for efficient expedition of patient care. We have multiple operatories, procedures and recovery rooms designed to enhance the surgical experience from the moment the patient arrives till they have been fully discharged. Our staff is trained in every aspect of patient care that we deliver here at Tempe Ambulatory Surgical Center.