Medical Minute: What a fertility specialist can do for you

Births are miracles of synchronicity. Each step must be completed correctly for pregnancy to occur. Fertility specialists help keep trains on time.

Couples often turn to a specialist when they haven’t conceived after trying for 12 months. Women also reach out when they want to become pregnant but have potential obstacles, such as an irregular or missing period, pre-existing gynecological disorders, or if they have tried for at least six months without success and are unsuccessful. ‘they are past the stage of pregnancy. age 35.

Dr Samantha Butts, Reproductive Endocrinologist and Head of the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Division at Pennsylvania Health State, also cares for patients who hope to start families without a partner, LGBTQ people looking to start a family, and others who have questions or concerns regarding fertility preservation.

“We often work with women who want to freeze eggs because they want to continue fertility in the future. In addition, some women and men may have medical diagnoses that pose risks to their ability to have children in the future, including those diagnosed with cancer who have received life-saving chemotherapy or radiation, ”said Butts. “There are also common gynecological conditions that can impact fertility, such as endometriosis, fibroids, and a history of ectopic pregnancy, that we can provide timely consultations on how to help them. individuals to optimize their chances of successful pregnancy. “

Whatever your reason, once you’ve decided to seek help from a specialist, choosing the right one involves looking at the type of services they offer, their qualifications and experience, as well as determining your level. of personal comfort with practice.

“It is important that patients consider subspecialty training experience and subspecialty board certification through the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology,” said Butts. “These represent important standards that distinguish physicians who meet the highest levels of training and expertise. “

During your initial consultation, you will discuss with the reproductive endocrinologist your and your partner’s medical history, as well as any previous tests, recommended tests, and possible treatment options.

“Our goal is to fully explain all tests and treatments so that patients can understand what is going on during the process.” said Butts. “We also have many telehealth options for the visits to make the process easier and more accessible for patients.”

Fertility specialists are trying to individualize the treatment. Gathering all the facts can take time, but there is a need to provide a treatment plan that can be successful, Butts said.

“We spend time educating patients about the treatments they will need to make sure they feel comfortable,” she said. “There is no single way to predict the success of treatments and it depends a lot on the nature of the cause of the infertility.”

Fortunately, reproductive research conducted by lead researchers at Penn State Health and many other university programs has resulted in improved protocols and techniques that continue to improve the odds of achieving positive results using treatments, such as artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization (IVF), donor egg, freezing of eggs and donor sperm.

“The bottom line is to understand that fertility problems can occur in people of all sexes, have multiple causes and have no symptoms,” Butts said. “That’s why we encourage anyone with concerns to take the first step and schedule a timely consultation with a fertility specialist. “

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the Medical minute is a weekly health article produced by Penn State Health. The articles showcase the expertise of faculty, physicians, and staff and are designed to deliver relevant and timely health information of interest to a broad audience.

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