AUA 2018: Couples with Male Factor Infertility Potentially Being Treated Prior to Testing

Truckee, CA (UroToday.com) -- Many couples with male factor infertility are being treated with intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) prior to the men being tested for fertility issues, according to a new study at the 113th Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA). The study will be presented to the media during a special press conference on Saturday, May 19 at 11:30 a.m. PT at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA.

Reproduction (or making a baby) is a simple and natural experience for most couples. However, for some couples, it is very difficult to conceive. When the problem lies with the male partner, it is referred to as male infertility, a factor prevalent in nearly 50 percent of all infertility cases. 

Study Details 
Publication #: MP19-09

Results of a North American Survey on the Characteristics of Men Presenting for Infertility Investigations: The Andrology Research Consortium: When a couple has not been able to conceive over the course of at least one year, both partners need to proceed with a comprehensive physical exam, with medical history. In an effort to characterize men presenting for infertility investigations, researchers from both the U.S. and Canada issued a standardized male infertility questionnaire through 24 North American subspecialty male infertility centers. Between May 2015 and Sept 2017, a total of 4,335 men completed the questionnaires. The average age of men completing the survey was 37 years old.

Results showed: 

  • Seventy-four percent of respondents indicated they had not been previously assessed by a male fertility specialist.
  • Of the 74 percent, IUI and IVF had been used to treat some of the couples (6 percent and 11 percent, respectively) who had never had a male factor infertility investigation.
  • The survey also identified potentially reversible causes of male infertility including lifestyle factors, previous vasectomy and the common use of testosterone and 5ARIs.
“The survey reveals the need for educating couples on the importance of seeing a male fertility specialist prior to using potentially unnecessary and expensive infertility treatments,” said Charles Welliver, MD, session moderator and urologist with the Albany Medical Center in Albany, NY. “Male fertility specialists can identify causes of male factor infertility and determine if they are reversible.”

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