Couple meets with a fertility doctor at Ember Fertility Center | Laguna Hills & Orange County, CA
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When to See a Fertility Doctor (Reproductive Endocrinologist)

Key facts about when to see a fertility doctor

  • We generally recommend couples or individuals who have been trying to conceive for 12 months without success seek the help of a fertility specialist (or six months if the woman is age 35 or older).
  • Both partners should see the fertility doctor at the initial visit because infertility is equally traced to both female and male reproductive issues.
  • If one or both partners have been diagnosed with a reproductive disorder, such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or a medical condition such as cancer, they should consider seeing a fertility specialist sooner.
  • Seeking the help of a fertility specialist does not necessarily mean a recommendation to pursue assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
  • A specialist can help identify and address any underlying issues and provide personalized treatment options to increase a person’s chances of achieving a successful pregnancy.

At Ember, everyone is a VIP – very important patient

And we have a thing for the small things: Each Ember patient gets a dedicated fertility coordinator, a patient’s personal care guide through every clinic detail, from the very first phone call to meeting your little miracle.

When to see a fertility specialist

The general rule of thumb is that couples in which the female is 35 or younger should see a fertility specialist if they have been unable to get pregnant after a year of regular, unprotected sex. We recommend that women over age 35 seek help after six months of trying to conceive. It’s best for women over 40 to seek help when first trying to conceive. 

Related Reading: How to get pregnant naturally

A fertility specialist is a medical doctor who specializes in helping people with infertility, as well as those in the LGBTQ+ community, become pregnant. They are also known as reproductive endocrinologists. Those who are specialty board certified in reproductive endocrinology & infertility are known as REIs. Both have advanced knowledge about infertility and can provide specialized medical treatments to help make conception possible. In addition to being a board-certified REI, our fertility specialist, Dr. William Freije, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology.

What is infertility?

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine defines infertility as a disease causing the inability to conceive after 12 months of regular, unprotected intercourse (or after 6 months if you are over 35). There are many factors that can contribute to infertility, including age, underlying medical conditions, lifestyle factors, and male and female issues. By coming in for an initial appointment, both partners can undergo infertility tests to determine the root cause of infertility and receive tailored recommendations for treatment.

When to see a doctor for possible infertility treatment even earlier

  • Either partner has undergone cancer treatments.
  • Either partner has a history of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Either partner has concerns about their child inheriting a genetic condition.
  • The female partner experiences irregular periods.
  • The female partner has a history of pelvic infections or previous abdominal surgeries.
  • The female partner experiences severe menstrual pain or has been diagnosed with endometriosis.
  • The female partner has experienced multiple miscarriages.
  • The male partner experiences sexual problems, such as difficulty with erections.
  • The male partner’s semen analysis indicates poor-quality sperm.

Delaying infertility treatment can reduce a couple’s chances of success and make it harder to achieve a healthy pregnancy. Seeking help early gives the doctor more time to diagnose any underlying issues and suggest treatments that may help the patient conceive.

The ultimate goal of seeing a fertility specialist is to explore all available options to help patients become pregnant. This includes helping them understand the risks and benefits of each treatment, and discussing any emotional or financial concerns they may have. In many cases, a fertility specialist can help patients overcome infertility and conceive a child.

What to expect when working with a fertility doctor

At Ember, we place a strong emphasis on patient education and support. Patients are provided with resources and guidance to help them make informed decisions about their care and optimize their chances of success. Infertility can be a frustrating and emotional journey, but it can help to know what to expect prior to a first appointment or undergoing treatment.

We offer a wide range of treatments, including fertility medications and assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF). We recommend the least invasive procedure where possible. Our clinic is equipped with the latest technology and staffed by experienced fertility specialists who are dedicated to helping everyone achieve their goals.

Related reading: What to expect at the first appointment

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