Reasons that should prompt a referral to a reproductive urologist: guidelines for the gynecologist and reproductive endocrinologist

Nicholas J. Farber, Vinayak K. Madhusoodanan, Sabrina A. Gerkowicz, Premal Patel, Ranjith Ramasamy


Obstetricians and gynecologists, and in particular reproductive endocrinologists (REIs), are typically the gatekeepers and first-line providers for couples initially seeking an infertility evaluation. A timely referral to a reproductive urologist may improve pregnancy outcomes in certain clinical scenarios. This review examines the evidence behind circumstances requiring referral and delivers practice-based recommendations on commonly encountered scenarios in the clinic. Scenarios that should prompt referral to a reproductive urologist include semen analysis (SA) abnormalities (e.g., asthenozoospermia, azoospermia, globozoospermia, leukocytospermia, necrozoospermia, oligospermia), recurrent intrauterine insemination (IUI)/in vitro fertilization (IVF) failure, and idiopathic recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL). Conversely, deferment is appropriate in the cases of isolated teratozoospermia and subclinical varicocele. Men with infertility are also at higher risk for other comorbid conditions and should have at least a baseline evaluation by a primary care physician. Coordination of care between a REI and reproductive urologist is critical in several clinical scenarios and expedient referral can improve reproductive outcomes.