Many factors can contribute to reproductive issues in women and men, including diet, smoking, alcohol, caffeine and environmental elements, such as toxins. Stress and age, in addition to underlying health conditions such as endometriosis, can also produce problems in conceiving a child. As a woman ages, she produces fewer eggs, and the possibility for conception gradually decreases. Male partners may suffer from low sperm counts as a result of medications, steroid usage, too much alcohol and smoking or erectile dysfunction.
If you and your partner are exploring options to remedy potential fertility problems, know that you have many resources to help guide you toward the goal of conceiving a child. Sometimes the movement toward more advanced treatments starts with a referral from an obstetrician, gynecologist or general practitioner. Likewise, if the male is experiencing any underlying health problems that are making conception difficult, his primary care physician will likely recommend a doctor specializing in male reproductive problems. In many cases, the cause of infertility in a couple won't immediately indicate which partner may have issues. Both partners should approach the process with support and understanding.
To find a specialist or clinic that fits your situation, first check whether your insurance covers this specialty. Also, your insurance carrier may require a referral from your OB/GYN or GP. If you are covered, make sure the specialist or clinic is in your insurance network. From that list, refer to Angie's List for member reviews and ratings about their experiences.