What’s the difference between an OBGYN and a fertility specialist?
An OBGYN is a lifeline and ally for women throughout their reproductive years and beyond, providing birth control, breast exams, pap smears, pregnancy care and delivery. But there’s a big difference between an OBGYN and a fertility specialist. As our Manhattan fertility specialist will attest, a fertility specialist is an OBGYN with an extra level of specialized training.
A reproductive endocrinologist (RE), or fertility specialist, must earn a medical degree and complete the same specialized, hands-on residency training as an OBGYN. After that training is complete, a fertility specialist will spend three more years completing a fellowship focused on reproductive endocrinology and infertility. By the time they’re ready to start a practice, a board certified RE will have completed about a decade of specialized post-graduate training and certification testing.
The big difference between an OBGYN and a fertility specialist
If you need birth control, are pregnant or think it’s time for an annual exam, an OBGYN has the right medical training to meet all of your needs. But if you’ve been trying to conceive without success or are an individual or same-sex couple who needs to use donor eggs or sperm, you need someone like our Manhattan fertility specialist who can evaluate your fertility and provide the right treatment to help you have a child.
A big difference between an OBGYN and a fertility specialist is the type of fertility testing and services each can provide. While an OBGYN diagnoses and treats conditions of the female reproductive system, an RE focuses on hormonal functioning related to reproduction, including both infertility and hormonal dysfunction in women who aren’t trying to become pregnant.
Only a reproductive endocrinologist is qualified to perform advanced assisted reproductive technology (ART) to overcome complex cases of infertility or help single individuals or LGBT couples grow their families.
- Medication and monitoring to help you ovulate or manage ongoing conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
- In vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Genetic screening of embryos
- Donor sperm or eggs
- Gestational carriers or surrogacy
Our Manhattan fertility specialist, Joel Batzofin MD, FACOG is a unique fertility specialist in that he is trained in reproductive endocrinology and infertility as well as reproductive andrology and male infertility. His dual training allows him to diagnose and treat fertility issues in both men and women, so male patients may not need to see another specialist to diagnose and treat their fertility issues.
See the right specialist
Your OBGYN can help you navigate the early stages of fertility testing and trying to conceive, including blood work to check your hormone levels. If it looks like you may need further evaluation, your OBGYN will likely refer you to a fertility specialist to take the next steps.
Because fertility issues can often get worse with time, be sure to move quickly to secure an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist as soon as your OBGYN recommends it. This is especially true if you’re under 35 and have been trying to conceive for at least a year, if you’re older than 35 and it’s been six months, or if you’ve had recurrent miscarriages or any reproductive diagnosis that could complicate your ability to conceive.
If you’re ready to take the next step to grow your family, it’s important to know the difference between an OBGYN and a fertility specialist, and to reach out for help from the right physician at the right time. Contact us to schedule an appointment with our Manhattan fertility specialist.