Myths About Reproductive Endocrinologists
by Jackie Gutmann, M.D.
RMA of Philadelphia
by Dr. Lowell Ku
Dallas IVF, a member of the Attain Fertility® Network
Published April 2011
Edited May 2011
Myth: “If I see a reproductive endocrinologist, I’m going to need IVF.”
BUSTED!: IVF is actually one of the least common infertility treatments performed. It consists of less than 5 percent of all fertility treatments in the United States.
Reproductive Endocrinologists (REs) usually reserve IVF for patients who absolutely need it. REs begin fertility therapy by performing many other infertility treatments first. The most common include fertility drug therapy, IUI treatment, and surgical procedures, such as hysteroscopy and laparoscopy that correct anatomical problems. All of these treatments cost far less than IVF and are not as emotionally taxing – making all of this good news.
Bottom line: do not jump to the conclusion that you will need IVF treatment to have a baby. Only if you have a medical condition or other predisposing situation that makes IVF necessary will your doctor go directly to IVF treatment. Otherwise, he or she will explore other options with you first.
Myth: All reproductive endocrinologists are the same.
BUSTED!: Every reproductive endocrinologist (RE) has his or her own style and it is important that you find one you are comfortable with. As you prepare to seek fertility assistance, take the time to think about what type of doctor relationship you want. You should also think about whether you prefer a male or female doctor. Many fertility centers host open houses so you can meet the doctors before scheduling a consultation.
Some REs also specialize in certain fertility treatments and procedures. Finding a doctor who is best able to meet your clinical needs is another important consideration. Most fertility clinic websites have bios for each doctor, including areas of particular expertise that you can check out.
Take the time to “do your homework” before choosing your doctor. Forging a healthy relationship of trust and open communication with your fertility specialist is essential and will give you the best possible chance for success.
And one last note: after you have begun to see a fertility specialist, if you feel like he or she isn’t the right fit for you after all, change doctors! Ideally, it would be a specialist in the same practice so the transition will be smooth for you. You should not feel uncomfortable or worry that you will hurt other’s feelings. Your treatment team’s first concern is creating the best possible environment for you to have a baby.
Myth. All IVF centers are the same.
BUSTED! Like REs, every IVF center has its own personality and flavor. Some IVF centers have more cutting edge technology to improve their success rates.
Bottom line: Choose the IVF center that fits you.