What Is a Fertility Specialist?

Happy family with baby after treatments by a fertility specialist | Tennessee Reproductive Medicine | ChattanoogaA fertility specialist is an individual who devotes his/her practice almost exclusively to the treatment of infertility. Some fertility specialists offer only a small number of therapies, such as treatment with medicines taken by mouth (ovulation induction), artificial insemination and/or surgery.

Reproductive endocrinologists are fertility specialists who have had four years of training in obstetrics and gynecology and an additional two to three years of specialized training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Most of these physicians offer a wide range of fertility treatments ranging from ovulation induction to in vitro fertilization.

TRM physicians are double board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) and Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and are members of the highly selective Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

Do I need a fertility specialist?

For many couples, a woman’s OB/GYN is comfortable performing investigations for causes of infertility and treating some of these causes. Some doctors are comfortable with infertility treatment, but simply don’t have the time to devote to it. Other doctors are not comfortable with this area of practice.

Patients interested in fertility discussions should inquire about their provider’s comfort level, interest and experience in providing these services. If, for any reason, your provider thinks you should see a fertility specialist, you should follow his/her recommendation.

Infertility quiz

The quiz below will help you determine if fertility issues may be making conception difficult for you. See how many of these circumstances apply to you and/or your partner, and add the points associated with each circumstance.

If your total equals or exceeds 15 points, you should consider seeing a fertility specialist and/or reproductive endocrinologist.

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Situation/Condition Points
The female partner is 35 years old or older and has not achieved pregnancy within six months of unprotected intercourse. 5
The female partner is under 35 years old and has not achieved pregnancy within 12 months of unprotected intercourse. 5
The female partner has one blocked fallopian tube. 6
The female partner has two blocked fallopian tubes. 15
The female partner has a history of tubal pregnancy. 6
The female partner has a history of recurrent pregnancy loss. (Two or more consecutive miscarriages). 5
The female partner is menopausal. 15
The female partner does not ovulate regularly.  5
The female partner does not ovulate with Clomid.  7
The male partner has low sperm counts (<13.5 million sperm per milliliter of ejaculate)  8
The male partner has low motility (<32%)  7
The male partner has few normally shaped sperm (<9% strict morphology or <30% according to WHO-III standards.)  8
The couple has failed to conceive within six months of being treated by their primary care physician.  7
Either person in the couple is a known carrier of a genetic disorder.  8