Infertility is much more common than once believed impacting up to 12% of couples. The American Society of Reproductive Medicine defines infertility as failure to conceive after one year of regular intercourse. Women over the age of 35 are encouraged to seek treatment after only six months. This is because female fertility can decline very rapidly in the thirties and “there is no time to waste,” especially with therapies such as Clomid. These women should see a board- certified reproductive endocrinologist, infertility specialist without delay.
We now recognize that up to half of all infertile couples have a male infertility component. Men remain fertile throughout their adult lives unlike women who usually enter menopause in their early forties. It is vitally important that all male partners have a complete semen analysis preferably performed at our reproductive medicine laboratory. Andrologists in our laboratory are highly trained to notice subtle sperm abnormalities that can lead to infertility.
As our knowledge of infertility has increased, the number of general OB/GYNs treating infertility has declined, especially those who once offered IUI with fertility drugs, such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Reproductive endocrinologists, infertility specialists, spend years studying the many causes of, and treatments for, infertility. This includes training in obstetrics and gynecology followed by a two-three year Fellowship program in reproductive endocrinology, infertility.
Infertility specialists stay abreast of the latest developments in their field by reviewing the scientific literature, attending meetings such as the annual American Society of Reproductive Medicine, continuing education courses, research, and communication with their peers. Non specialists often have busy obstetrical practices and cannot devote the time necessary to remain “current” with the “fast breaking” developments in the field of infertility.
Some OB/GYNs initiate trial therapy with Clomid for approximately three to six months prior to referring. Studies clearly demonstrate that pregnancy is most likely to occur during the first three ovulatory cycles. Continued Clomid therapy is expensive, unlikely to work, and can cause detrimental side effects after this time period.
The infertility specialists at New York's, North Shore - LIJ, Center for Human Reproduction have decades of combined experience and are board certified in reproductive endocrinology and OB/GYN. Board certification requires completion of a Fellowship program, research projects, advanced training in microsurgical techniques, written and oral examinations administered by their peers, and more extensive training than we can discuss here. Board certification is the patient’s assurance that the physician is adequately trained to diagnose and treat the complex diseases causing infertility.
Our fertility physicians have extensive experience administering IVF cycles and our high success rates demonstrate their proficiency. We also offer donor egg IVF and our Long Island, NY Donor Egg Program is one of the most successful in the Northeast. Donor egg is required for women who cannot use their own eggs to achieve pregnancy, usually as a result of ovarian failure.
The causes of infertility are often separated by the organ system they affect and the “processes” required to successfully conceive and carry a child to term and delivery.
Major Causes of Infertility