Finding a doctor to guide them through the process of conception is not a difficult task. Grossman said many women may find that their regular gynecologist may be well suited to treat infertility issues. The three factors he said couples should consider when choosing a doctor related to their fertility are the patient's preference; the gynecologist's familiarity with fertility issues; and the time available within the practice.
"A lot of evaluations, testing and even treatment can be done with a general gynecologist," said Grossman.
If patients are comfortable with their own doctor, they may opt to stay working with them. However, some patients feel better working with a doctor who is considered an expert in the field of infertility.
While the patient may feel confident with their gynecologists, Grossman said the gynecologist may opt to refer the patient to another doctor. He said some are not familiar with the necessary workups or might have other areas of special interest and knowledge.
"A general gynecologist can do a lot of things and help in a lot of ways for a lot of people," said Grossman.
He said that infertility issues are emotionally demanding, adding, "It takes a lot of time to treat patients with the compassion they deserve. It is hard to do that in a regular GYN setting."
Grossman noted that much of the fertility-related work must be done on short notice, which may not fit in well with the rest of the practice.
Treatment options differ significantly from patient to patient and encompass a wide range of choices. When people hear about infertility, many associate it with in-vitro fertilization, in which an egg and sperm are taken from each partner and placed together in a dish. The insemination may happen on its own or be assisted by medical personnel. Either way, it is not the only option available to couples. Other medical treatments include prescriptions for pills or an injection, which increases the woman's ability to ovulate. Intrauterine insemination places pre-collected sperm directly into the woman's uterus during ovulation.