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Is it Time to See a Fertility Specialist?

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You’re thinking about having a baby. You’ve just started “trying.” You’ve been trying to get pregnant for awhile. Do any of these describe you?

If so, maybe … just maybe … you need to see a fertility specialist. How do you know?

Take a look at this list:
• I’m under the age of 35, and have been trying to conceive for a year.
• I’m 35 or older and have been trying to conceive for six months.
• I have a history of pelvic infection, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, or pelvic pain.

• I have damage to my fallopian tubes.
• I currently have, or have had painful periods or endometriosis.
• I have had two or more miscarriages.
• I have irregular menstrual cycles and/or ovulate irregularly.
• I have not responded to clomiphene citrate (oral medication used to stimulate ovulation — brand name Clomid or Serophene).
• I was exposed to DES (a synthetic estrogen that was prescribed to millions of pregnant women from 1938 until 1971).

If you can answer “yes” to one or more of the above, it’s time to see a fertility specialist — a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). You may really like and respect your OB/Gyn, but the reality is, in more than seven years of training, your doctor probably only spent a few weeks focusing on infertility. RE’s, on the other hand, receive OB/Gyn training plus two to three years of specialized training.

So make an appointment with an RE. Frankly, it's never too early. A fertility workup will help you determine the state of your fertility, and give you the information you need to plan your path to pregnancy. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re headed down a long path of testing and treatment. It just means you're being smart and taking control of your fertility.

By Jennifer Redmond /

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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