Seeing an infertility specialist

If you haven't become pregnant within a reasonable time (see the sidebar, "How long should I try to get pregnant on my own?" in this chapter to find out what a reasonable time is), you need to make an appointment with a doctor. Most people start with their gynecologist (GYN) or their family doctor.

Figure 7-2:

A hydrosalpinx can affect your ability to become pregnant.

Is it absolutely necessary to see a specialist? That depends on your age, degree of endometriosis, pregnancy history, and personal preference. (Many women under the age of 45 don't have a GYN, although they should.) Some women want to go right to the big guns — the specialist. Even though consulting with a specialist may not be necessary, this decision may help a woman feel like she's doing all she can. If you feel this way, by all means, see a specialist.

Your GYN may be able to help you with the initial diagnosis and treatment. (See Chapter 8 for tips on finding a doctor you can work with.) No matter what type of doctor you decide to see, she'll most likely suggest doing some diagnostic tests. The following sections describe these diagnostic tests (some overlap with tests in Chapter 9, but the tests in this chapter measure infertility). Although some of the tests may be simple blood tests or imaging studies, like ultrasounds or fluoroscopy, other tests are more invasive and uncomfortable. But all of them help ascertain the reason for infertility and guide your doctor toward the most direct treatment and the shortest road to a pregnancy.

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