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A fertility specialist is a physician who practices a subspecialty of gynecology and obstetrics called reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI). Fertility specialists focus on diagnosing, treating and preventing male and female infertility. Fertility specialists are not just gynecologists. They are a reproductive endocrinologist and practice reproductive endocrinology and infertility (REI) which is the subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology.


Infertility means a couple isn’t able to become pregnant after 1 year of having regular, unprotected sex. Infertility can affect both women and men. A woman is considered infertile if she has tried for 1 year to get pregnant and hasn’t used birth control. A man is considered infertile if he has too few sperm or his sperm are too unhealthy to combine with a woman’s egg.


Causes for female infertility may include:

  • Age of the woman
  • An underlying infection
  • Improper implantation of fertilized egg in the uterine lining
  • The cervix begins to widen and open too early, in the middle of pregnancy, without signs of pain or labor
  • Disorders of the immune or an autoimmune disease
  • Lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or using illegal drugs
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Hormonal irregularities
  • Severe kidney disease
  • Exposure to environmental and workplace hazards such as high levels of radiation or toxic agents.

Causes for male infertility may include:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Hormone disorders
  • Work conditions especially working in an extremely hot environment
  • Lifestyle choices such as drug use, alcohol use, tobacco smoking
  • Previous infections, especially STDs, urinary tract infections or a severe mumps infection after puberty.
  • Exposure to poisonous chemicals or radiation (most common in cancer survivors.)


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