Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) Assistance
Our physicians are devoted to managing the entire spectrum of reproductive disorders from teenage years to menopause and beyond.
While in vitro fertilization (IVF) receives a great deal of media attention, it actually accounts for only a small percentage of all infertility treatment in the United States.
At Baylor College of Medicine, our fertility specialists can often help patients overcome infertility with a variety of other methods that are less complex and expensive than IVF, even in the most challenging cases.
We are highly experienced in helping patients suffering from the following conditions:
Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue – tissue that lines the inside of the uterus – grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis can cause painful menstrual periods, abnormal menstrual bleeding and pain during or after intercourse. It can also be asymptomatic. Endometriosis may be treated surgically, with medications, or a combination of both. For more information, see Endo-Online - Endometriosis Association.
A normal menstrual cycle is considered to be 28 days long with ovulation occurring on day 14. However, women may ovulate days before or after the cycle midpoint or cycles may be longer or shorter than 28 days or not occur at all. Metrorrhagia is irregular menstrual bleeding or bleeding between periods while oligomenorrhea occurs when menses are greater than 35 days apart. Irregular cycles may be caused by hormonal imbalances, stress, change of diet or exercise program.
Hirsutism is excess hair growth in women occurring around the mouth, on the chin, neck, chest and back. Hirsutism may be caused by high androgen levels due to polycystic ovarian syndrome, Cushing's disease, inherited conditions and some medications. Family history or ethnicity may also influence the occurrence of hirsutism.
Hyperprolactinemia is defined as an elevated level of the hormone prolactin. Excessive prolactin can cause irregular menstrual cycles or the lack of menstrual periods.
Menopause is defined as the absence of menstrual periods for one year, normally occurring between ages 45 and 55. The period leading up to menopause is called perimenopause, meaning "around menopause." During perimenopause, ovulation is effected by shifts in hormone levels, causing changes in a woman's menstrual cycle. Perimenopause can last for up to 10 years.
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a disorder in which the ovaries produce excessive amounts of male hormones (androgens) and develop many small cysts. Symptoms commonly include heavy, irregular or missed periods as well as acne, excessive hair growth on the face, obesity and infertility. For more information, see POCSupport - Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association.
Premature Ovarian Failure
Premature ovarian failure occurs when a woman's ovaries fail to function normally, producing normal amounts of estrogen and regularly releasing eggs, before the age of 40. Symptoms of premature ovarian failure include irregular or occasional periods, hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, irritability and decreased sexual desire.
Recurrent Miscarriage / Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
Consecutive pregnancy losses (usually more than three) before 20 weeks gestation are considered recurrent pregnancy losses.
Uterine Fibroids (Leiomyomas)
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop in or on the uterus. They develop from the smooth muscle cells of the uterus and can interfere with pregnancy. The cause of uterine fibroids is unknown. Since they require estrogen to grow, they often shrink after menopause when estrogen levels naturally decrease.
When pregnancy is the goal, our focus is on helping you get there as quickly and cost effectively as possible.