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GLOSSARY

Reproductive endocrinologist

A reproductive endocrinologist (REI) is a medical specialist who specializes in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Reproductive endocrinologists treat patients experiencing infertility issues, endocrine disorders, and reproductive disorders, as well as those who want to preserve their fertility by freezing eggs or embryos.

REIs are first obstetricians or gynecologists with a focus on fertility. To become a REI, doctors must first complete four years of medical school followed by a four-year residency in obstetrics and gynecology and another three-year fellowship in fertility medicine.

Training includes caring for pregnant patients, delivering babies, performing IUI and IVF, and treating disorders of the female reproductive tract. Reproductive endocrinologists can also test and treat hormonal imbalances in patients outside of infertility issues.

Reproductive endocrinologist and fertility

Reproductive endocrinologists play a crucial role in addressing infertility. These specialists aim to address the root cause of infertility issues and diagnose the condition. REIs are trained to conduct surgeries, administer medications, or perform medical procedures that can aid in fertility treatments. Tests commonly administered by REIs include semen analysis (SA), blood tests for hormone and blood sugar levels, and scans of the fallopian tubes and uterus to identify any structural problems. Beyond diagnosing common infertility issues, reproductive endocrinologists can also perform assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures, including both in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI).

When to go see a reproductive endocrinologist

Infertility is typically defined as the inability to get pregnant after one year after engaging in unprotected sex. Couples that are experiencing difficulty conceiving should consider consulting a reproductive endocrinologist. These specialists can help diagnose the root cause, and are trained to treat infertility issues. Anyone considering ART procedures could consult an REI to inform themselves of the procedure and any other options available to them.
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