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Dear Patient Care Advocates: Fertility Doctor or Urologist
Dear Patient Care Advocates:
My fiancé and I have been trying to conceive for six months, but have not gotten pregnant. He was married six years ago and was unable to conceive then due to low motility. He wants to have his fertility tested, but I am wondering if it makes more sense to see a urologist or a fertility doctor. How do we know which is the appropriate doctor to see? At what point do we need to see a fertility doctor?
A and G in Tennessee
Dear A and G,
I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling in your quest to have a baby. There are several questions to ask yourself before deciding to see a fertility doctor or urologist:
How old are you? If you are over the age of 35 and have been trying to conceive for 6 months but have not conceived, you should definitely see a fertility doctor rather than a urologist. Female fertility declines with age, so you could be combating male factor infertility as well as age related infertility. Only a fertility doctor can tell you for sure. The under 35 crowd is usually advised to TTC for one year, but since your fiancé has a history of male factor infertility, you might seek an evaluation sooner.
Is your menstrual cycle normal (every 28-32 days)? If you menstrual cycle is abnormal, it could be the sign of an ovulation disorder or declining ovarian reserve. A urologist may be able to test your fiancé’s fertility, but only a fertility doctor can treat both members of the couple.
Do you have children or have you been pregnant before? Having achieved pregnancy before isn’t a guarantee that you will become pregnant the second time around, but provides valuable information to the fertility doctor about your chance of conceiving (depending on how long ago previous pregnancy was achieved).
If you are under the age of 35 and have regular menstrual cycles, you could probably send your fiancé to the urologist. Be advised that if his semen analysis results come back abnormal, you may still need to consult a fertility doctor in order to conceive. It is really a matter of whether you want to undergo a female fertility workup now or later. My personal advice is to see the fertility doctor, though the choice is yours to make.
If you are looking to connect with a reputable fertility doctor in your area, give us a call at -855-955-BABY (2229) or send me an email. I’ve been through fertility treatment before- both male and female factor infertility- so I know how intimidating those first steps can be.
For more information on when to see a fertility doctor, visit the Questions for Patient Care Advocates forum on FertileThoughts.com!