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When Should You See a Fertility Specialist?

From the Show: HER
Summary: Want to get pregnant but it hasn't happened yet? Find out when you should see a fertility specialist.
Air Date: 10/9/17
Duration: 27:27
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pam Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Kristin Bendikson, MD
Dr. Kristin BendiksonDr. Kristin Bendikson is a Fertility Specialist and assistant clinical professor at USC Fertility, a part of the Keck School of Medicine of USC. She serves as the Director of IVF at USC Fertility as well as the Director of the Fertility Diagnostic Testing Program. She founded the USC Center for Pregnancy Loss, the first to be located in Southern California.

Dr. Bendikson received her undergraduate degree at UCLA before moving to the east coast for medical school at New York University. She remained on the east coast, and completed her obstetrics and gynecology training at Harvard, at both Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. She received extensive clinical and surgical training in the field of infertility at the renowned Cornell University IVF Center in New York City where she completed her fellowship training. She is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology as well Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.

Dr. Bendikson has authored numerous research publications and presented her work, both nationally and internationally. She has been recognized most recently for her innovative research examining the impact of Vitamin D on infertility.

As an active member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), she serves on the national ASRM Patient Education Committee as well as the ASRM Embryo Transfer Committee that recently help launch an embryo transfer simulation device for training of fellows. She also serves on the medical advisory board for a nutritional supplement company that focuses on fertility related products.

Dr. Bendikson is committed to educating the next generation of fertility specialists and serves as the associate fellowship program director for the USC fellowship for reproductive endocrinology and infertility. In addition, she lectures to both USC medical students and USC undergraduates every year.

She is an expert in ovulation induction, in vitro fertilization, egg freezing and fertility surgery, as well as the management of other disorders including recurrent pregnancy loss, endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

It is her goal to provide the highest quality care for her patients and to help them fulfill their desire of having a healthy baby, whether that be now or in the future. In addition, she strives to guide her patients through what can be a trying and difficult journey by providing them with the support and personal attention they need and deserve.

Dr. Bendikson has been featured both in print and video media outlets. She was one of the medical commentators on I didn’t know I was Pregnant on TLC/Discovery channels. For the online education site, “Kids In the House” she was asked to film a series of videos on fertility topics. Dr. Bendikson has extensive experience giving lectures on infertility, egg freezing and general women’s health. She actively engages in social media and was recently asked to give a lecture on “Physicians in Social Media” at a national conference.
When Should You See a Fertility Specialist?
You may know someone who is struggling to get pregnant. That someone may be you.

When should you see a fertility specialist?

Basic Guidelines

If you are under 35 and haven't gotten pregnant in one year, see a specialist. If you are both over 35, see a specialist after six months of trying. Fertility specialists are good for those who have had multiple miscarriages or want to family plan for a certain number of children at a particular age.

Seeing a specialist doesn’t mean you start treatment immediately. Seventy percent of couples get pregnant within six months of trying.

Age & Fertility

Women are born with a set number of eggs. Menstrual cycles use up those eggs. The eggs age as you age so the quality goes down. The mechanical parts of your body that process those eggs experience wear and tear as you age, making it tougher to get pregnant. This is why women are more prone to miscarriages as they get older.

Fertility Treatments

Fertility treatments don’t create more eggs or repair the machinery of the reproductive system. Hormones increase the number of eggs released each month to optimize the chance that sperm can fertilize an egg.

The media shares tales of women who are pregnant late in life. A menopausal woman can be pregnant either carrying a donor’s fertilized egg or her own frozen egg. The uterus doesn’t age so it can foster eggs from your earlier harvest.

Fertility Tests

  • Men: sperm count and motility
  • Women: blood tests and ultrasound to determine ovarian reserve (function and estimated egg count)
Miscarriage

Miscarriages are very common. It is estimated that 15 percent of pregnancies in those 35 and under results in miscarriage. The percentage goes up with the age groups.

Your chance for miscarriage is high after one miscarriage. You should see a fertility specialist if you’ve had two consecutive miscarriages. You will have at least a 70 percent chance of getting pregnant after two miscarriages. A specialist can check things out and advise on future pregnancies.

Listen as Dr. Kristin Bendikson joins Dr. Pamela Peeke to share how fertility works and when you should seek help getting pregnant.

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