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Why a Fertility Specialist

Specially-Trained reproductive endocrinologists


hen a couple meets the definition of infertility, or if they suspect infertility because of a known pre-existing condition that may prevent them from conceiving, it is time to seek medical help.

A fertility specialist, or reproductive endocrinologist (RE), is a physician who not only completed the rigorous educational requirements to become an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) but also advanced training and a fellowship specifically in reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI). In most cases, this advanced training requires an additional 3 years of intensive and highly focused study and practicum.

Board-certified REs have not only completed 3 years of subspecialty training in REI but have also completed typically 5 additional years (up to 10 years of total) of postgraduate training. In order to receive their certification as both an OB/GYN and an REI specialist, they need to pass four exams:

  1. The OB/GYN written examination
  2. The OB/GYN oral examination
  3. The REI written examination
  4. The REI oral examination

Once complete, board-certified REs must maintain their education and training by completing continuous literary reviews and passing written examinations every 6 years.

It's worth mentioning that a fertility specialist's affiliation with a highly specialized fertility center is very important, as the needs of fertility patients are often unique and require not only medical offices and exam rooms, but also an outpatient surgery center and embryology and andrology laboratories onsite. This means that the appropriate laboratory equipment and staff are in place to handle the timing and coordination of the medical schedules, testing, and treatment plans.

Lastly, an RE focuses all of his or her time, training, and attention on treating infertility. This level of commitment is necessary in order for the physician to stay abreast of the rapid technological advances being made in this ever-evolving field. Additionally, advanced fertility treatments are time- and labor-sensitive, requiring the physician and his or her staff to be available 7 days a week in order to accommodate procedures that a patient may need.

Breadth and depth of experience combined with state-of-the-art laboratories and technology available at Shady Grove Fertility properly equip our REs to offer you the ideal treatment plan that will help you on the road to becoming a parent.

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