What a reproductive endocrinologist can do for you

A visit to a reproductive endocrinologist or RE may be a good idea if you had cervical surgeries in the past and are having trouble getting pregnant. These doctors are also known as infertility doctors.

They treat more than that, however. They also are specialists in menopause, but definitely, their primary role is in helping infertile couples.

Cervical surgeries can lead to complications to getting pregnant, like cervical stenosis, blocked fallopian tubes, or a lack of cervical mucus. An RE can help with these problems.

In order to figure out what your problem is, the RE will do some testing. One pretty simple test is the hysterosalpingogram, or HSG. That will show if you have a blocked fallopian tube or two.  Sometimes tissue from cervical surgery actually goes up into the uterus and into the tubes and can cause blockage.  It's not common.

If that is clear, your RE may do a hysteroscopy, which is an exam inside your uterus, to look for fibroids or abnormalities like a bicornuate uterus, which is something you're born with and has nothing to do with cervical cancer.

If you do have blocked tubes, the doctor can do a laproscopic procedure to try to unblock them. If that doesn't work, then you may have to have a tube or both tubes removed. In that case, you may need to go through in vitro fertilization, or IVF, to get pregnant.

The doctor will also run blood tests to make sure your hormones are normal, and if everything looks pretty normal but you've been trying to get pregnant for over six months, the first step may be to try intrauterine insemination, or IUI.

The purpose of IUI is to bypass the cervix. If your doctor suspects that a lack of mucus is a problem, this can be the solution. This can also help if you have cervical stenosis.

All in all, you may be very fertile, but you may need the technical assistance that a reproductive endocrinologist can provide. To find a good RE, you can check out the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology website at www.sart.org. In the website, you'll find the data that the centers submit on their IVF statistics. Even if you don't know if you need IVF yet, pick a center near you that is good at it because they're probably good at everything else, too.