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New Research Sheds Light on Men’s Stress from Infertility

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE’S 2017 SCIENTIFIC CONGRESS & EXPO 

Note: Press room open Sun. October 29, 2pm-5pm CDT; Mon. October 30-Wed. November 1, 8:00am-5:30pm CDT. 210-582-7029 

San Antonio, TX- New research presented today at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Scientific Congress shed light on the high stress levels infertility can cause in men as well as women.

It has long been known that female infertility patients suffer levels of stress comparable to those of cancer patients, but little research has been done on the male half of infertile couples. Three studies presented at the conference attempted to remedy that.

First, a team from Northwestern University recruited nearly 100 male patients in infertility clinics to participate in a study designed to assess their stress levels and coping skills. The men were given 3 standardized instruments to assess their emotional responses and coping skills. The research revealed that men indeed felt an emotional loss and distress from infertility in general, and these levels rose if they had a diagnosed abnormal semen analysis.

A team from the University of Michigan surveyed men (n=25) who appeared in an infertility clinic. Using a variety of instruments, the found the men reported moderate levels of stress, a decline in sexual confidence and reduced erectile function.

Finally, a staple of the diagnosis and treatment of male infertility is semen collection and analysis. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati examined the stress associated with that activity.

In general, the news was reassuring, most men did not find it overly stressful although nearly a third said they experienced increased levels of stress and embarrassment, and only a small number of men reported a decline in libido associated with semen collection.

“Too often the stress levels and emotional needs of men have not been considered when dealing with an infertile couple. This research shows us just how important it to deal with the multifactorial needs of all our patients, with continued consideration of males attempting to contribute to conception,” stated Peter Schlegel MD, Vice President of the ASRM.

P-511 E. Noncent et al,” WILL I EVER BE A DAD? DISTRESS, APPRAISAL AND COPING IN MALE INFERTILITY PATIENTS.

 P-515 S. R. Adams et al,” MALE PREFERENCES AND ATTITUDES ASSOCIATED WITH SEMEN COLLECTION DURING THE EVALUATION AND TREATMENT OF INFERTILITY.”

 P-525 S. Quallich et al,” PSYCHOSOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF MEN UNDERGOING MALE FERTILITY EVALUATIONS.”

 

ASRM is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. The Society accomplishes its mission through the pursuit of excellence in education and research and through advocacy on behalf of patients, physicians, and affiliated health care providers. The Society is committed to facilitating and sponsoring educational activities for the lay public and continuing medical education activities for professionals who are engaged in the practice of and research in reproductive medicine. 


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