Healthcare Providers and OB/GYNs

Medical help for infertility generally begins with a woman’s primary healthcare provider or her obstetrician/gynaecologist (OB/GYN). OB/GYNs are trained in diagnosing and treating general disorders of the female reproductive system, and in caring for women during and after pregnancy. Most OB/GYNs do not have a specialty in infertility, but some do offer fertility services.

How OB/GYNs Address Infertility

When a fertility issue is raised, those OB/GYNs who provide initial fertility services will conduct a medical exam on the woman and recommend a semen analysis for the man. The OB/GYN will review both partners’ medical histories, then order a battery of standard infertility tests.

For women, tests generally include testing for blood hormone levels and ovulatory function. The OB/GYN may do a post-coital test, transvaginal ultrasound, hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and sometimes a laparoscopy. 

For men, standard testing includes a physical exam, hormonal tests and semen analyses.

An OB/GYN may advise preliminary treatments for infertility, ranging from recommending weight loss or gain to prescribing fertility drugs such as clomiphene citrate.

When to see a Specialist

When preliminary tests and treatments have not resolved a fertility problem, it may be time to turn to a reproductive endocrinologist (RE).

An RE is an OB/GYN or endocrinologist who has additional training in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. REs generally complete a two-year residency or fellowship program, and are accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

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