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Becoming an Infertility Patient: Choosing Treatment 

Becoming an Infertility Patient: Choosing Treatment
Chapter:
Becoming an Infertility Patient: Choosing Treatment
Author(s):

Robert L. Klitzman

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190054472.003.0003
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date: 14 April 2021

For many patients, the first step in using these technologies is getting a referral to an infertility specialist, yet even that step can pose challenges. Several types of healthcare provider can serve as gatekeepers and refer patients to fertility specialists—obstetricians and gynecologists, general practitioners, oncologists, and genetic counselors. Yet these clinicians often have knowledge gaps regarding infertility and thus delay or fail to make referrals. Patients encounter financial barriers as well. Patients may postpone or not seek treatment because they fail to appreciate how much age can diminish fertility. Both doctors and patients can feel awkward discussing sexual activity, reproduction, and infertility because of stigma. Usually, infertile patients who pursue treatment first undergo tests to determine whether the infertility stems from the man, the woman, or both. Before proceeding to in vitro fertilization, women ordinarily attempt medications and intrauterine insemination but face a range of challenges and questions.

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