The subspecialty of surgical obstetrics and gynecology is called Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility or REI. The physicians are educated in the area of reproductive medicine handling hormonal functioning that is directly related to the processes of reproduction with great emphasis on the subject of infertility. Aside from the Reproductive Endocrinologist’s main focus on infertility, REIs are also trained to assess and deal with other dysfunctions of the hormones in women and men outside the scope of infertility. Anatomical conditions that affect a patient’s fertility are also surgically operated by REIs. They first undergo specialty training in obstetrics and gynecology before proceeding to the sub-specialty partnership training of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
Among the many scope of a Reproductive Endocrinologist are problems that are directly in relation to the reproductive system include but not limited to the following:
Hormonal Disorders – it has been found out over the years that a great number of complex hormonal disorders are impacting women of childbearing years more substantially than previously believed;
Menstrual Problems – menstrual problems are mostly mediated by culture and particular lifestyle factors. Another factor in the occurrence of menstrual problems is stress and diet;
Infertility – the inability of a person to biologically contribute to the process of conception due to problems in ovulation, blocking of the fallopian tubes, male-associated infertility, factors in relation to age, problems in the uterus, tubal ligation, vasectomy, and an unknown cause;
Loss of Pregnancy – This is brought about by a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy. There are four possible causes of pregnancy loss and they are: a blighted ovum, miscarriage, ectopic and molar pregnancy;
Sexual Dysfunction – This is the term coined for the difficulty encountered by a couple in the process of sexual intercourse in its various stages: desire, arousal, and orgasm; and
Menopause – this is the permanent termination of the reproductive fertility of a woman.
Who can a Reproductive Endocrinologist treat? REIs can treat clients, men and women in different stages of life. It is the duty of the Reproductive Endocrinologist to run a variety of tests that concern fertility in the cases of clients or patients presenting an infertility problem. They can also suggest necessary and appropriate treatments that will help increase a patient’s chances of conceiving. The most common treatments that are offered are the use of fertility drugs, infertility surgery and assisted therapy for reproduction.
What are the qualifications in becoming a Reproductive Endocrinologist? Reproductive Endocrinologists need to complete a residency in OB-GYNE first plus allotting two to three years of training in reproductive endocrinology afterwards. To become a certified and qualified reproductive endocrinologist, they take a written and oral exam.