The Facts About Infertility


Fertility facts and specialists

The Unknown Factor in Infertility

Although estimates vary, infertility is unexplained in approximately 20 percent of cases. When this happens, there is no medical answer to the problem. Some couples opt to increase their chances of conceiving by trying various assisted reproductive techniques such as fertility drugs, artificial insemination, or some form of in vitro fertilization. Others decide to keep trying the old-fashioned way and investigate other factors that can influence fertility and which they have some personal control over; these include changes in lifestyle, exposure to environmental toxins, positions during intercourse, and reducing the amount of stress in their lives.

Fertility Specialists

Before you jump into fertility testing, it's best to take time to look where you're going. The first step is to carefully choose the physician who will guide you through this process. Start with your gynecologist. Together, the two of you will assess your fertility and then decide if you should also consult a fertility specialist.

If you do decide to go to a fertility specialist, choose this person carefully. Because there is no regulation, licensing, or certification required for advertising this specialty, any physician can be listed as a fertility specialist. Just because someone is listed as a "fertility specialist" or has certificates on the office wall announcing membership in the American Society for Reproductive Medicine doesn't necessarily mean that he or she is qualified to help your particular situation. Before you make your first appointment, call and ask if the physician is board-certified or board-eligible in reproductive endocrinology (meaning that he or she has passed a national board examination to specialize in fertility).

Don't forget that males need a specialized health-care provider, too. It is unlikely that his general practitioner (GP) can adequately perform the necessary diagnostic tests, and if the GP does perform the tests, he or she will likely refer the patient on to a specialist when the results are in anyway.

Most often men are referred to an urologist, but keep in mind that not all urologists are adequately trained to handle fertility problems. It's best to see an andrologist. Andrology is a specialty within the field of urology that focuses specifically on fertility. Andrologists are the physicians most highly qualified to deal with all aspects of male-factor infertility. These doctors have completed a one- to two-year fellowship and have passed an examination to become a board-certified andrologist.


excerpted from:

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth © 2004 by Michele Isaac Gliksman, M.D. and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's website or call 1-800-253-6476.

Pregnancy Day by Day

Tell us your due date to receive our daily newsletter and find out what is happening in this day of your pregnancy!

Already a member? Log-in here

Name of the Day

stay connected


10 Best Creative Apps for Kids
Looking for apps that foster creativity? Check out these top-rated art and music apps for kids.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

A New Intergalactic Reading Adventure!
Get your reluctant reader hooked on an irresistible new story, Galactic Hot Dogs! Join the Book 1 reading marathon, and get behind-the-scenes tidbits on the official Galactic Hot Dogs blog. Also, print this cool Galactic Hot Dogs reading log to keep your bookworm excited about reading!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

© 2000-2015 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.