Penciling It In: When to See a Reproductive Endocrinologist

Trying to conceive (TTC) can take a bit of planning. Aside from having the right partner or person to co-parent with (or deciding to go it alone!), determining “when” is best to have a child (is there ever a good time?), and tracking ovulation, baby making can be stressful and time-consuming!

Like parenthood itself, trying to conceive often doesn’t go according to plan.

But, when should you bite the bullet and see a reproductive endocrinologist?

Here’s your cheat sheet:

  1. If you’re under 35 years old and have been trying to conceive for 1 year.
  2. If you’re over 35 and have been trying to conceive for 6 months.

However, there are plenty of other people who benefit from seeing a RE.

Every path to parenthood looks different and a RE may be part of your journey.

Here’s the scoop:

  1. History of  Miscarriages: If you have been able to get a BFP (big fat positive), but have had several miscarriages, a RE can help with a work-up for recurrent pregnancy loss.
  2. Irregular Periods: This could be a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or if you’re older, the closing of your reproductive window
  3. No Periods: A period is another “vital sign” for women, and “no periods” is a big problem! Just like you would see a doctor for high blood pressure, if you’re periods are absent, see a specialist.
  4. Pelvic Pain: If you’ve been seeing your doctor for pelvic pain, and they believe you could have endometriosis, talking to a reproductive endocrinologist about treatment options and fertility with endometriosis can be helpful.
  5. Ice, Ice Babies?: If you haven’t found the “right one” or aren’t quite ready to parent, a RE can talk to you about egg freezing and embryo freezing.
  6. “I Need Surgery?”: Some people may have been told they have an anomaly of the uterus. Or, fallopian tubes that require surgery to conceive, either naturally or with assisted reproduction. Something your RE can go over with you.

In addition, if you need to use a gestational surrogate, egg donor, or sperm donor, a RE will be able to help guide you through this process successfully.

Finally, if you have a heritable illness, chances are you’ve heard of technology, called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. Which can help you select an embryo without a potential life-altering disease. While time intensive and costly, if this is something you are interested in, a RE can walk you through the process and technology.

Make the Appointment With a RE

Penciling in another doctor’s visit isn’t always easy, but to reach your family building goals, it will be well worth it! Every path to parenthood looks different and a RE may be part of your journey.

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