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  • Allison Ramsey, Asheville Fertility Counselor

When To Switch From Your Gynecologist to a Fertility Clinic

Fertility Counseling

When To Switch From Your Gynecologist to a Fertility Clinic

When women begin thinking about starting a family, it is exciting and scary at first. They might go to their gynecologist for a check up and make sure everything is good to go. The gynecologist gives the greenlight and says come back in six months (if you’re over 35) or a year (if you’re under 35). However, these are rough estimates. If you feel like something is wrong, you can request more in depth testing to see what is going on. Gynecologists can perform many procedures in office, but there might come a time when you need to be seen by a reproductive endocrinologist (RE).

A reproductive endocrinologist is more than a mouthful. They are trained medical doctors who in addition to 4 years of medical school have completed a 4 year residency in obstetrics and gynecology and another three years of fellowship training specifically in the complexities of the human reproductive system. These folks know what they’re doing and they do it all day long.

You might want to see an RE if you have an irregular period, two or more miscarriages, or you’ve been TTC and haven’t had a full fertility evaluation. This includes bloodwork to test for certain hormones, testing of uterus shape and open tubes, testing for egg development, and a semen analysis.

The number one reason why a woman doesn’t seek out an RE is fear of hurting their gynecologist’s feelings. Your gynecologist wants you to get pregnant. She wants you to do whatever you have to do to make that happen. A good doctor will not get their feelings hurt when you ask for a referral to an RE. If your gynecologist is also an obstetrician you’ll be back in her care about 8 weeks after that positive pregnancy test.

In my infertility counseling practice I've seen too many women that have waited more than a year of trying before they sought help from an RE. Upon seeking expert help many fertility problems can be diagnosed and resolved. It can be daunting to find an RE, and most people start with the one closest to them. If you have to drive a few hours, check out my post on what to do on those long drives to the fertility clinic. Seeking out an RE means accessing more hope through a new course of treatment.

Allison Ramsey is a licensed professional counselor and fertility counseling specialist in the Asheville area. She’s a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and completed their certificate training in mental health counseling for infertility. Contact her to start feeling better.

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