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24-10-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Infertile men rely on partners and clinics for support


Journal abstract

MedWire News: Infertile men are most likely to rely on their intimate partner and medical providers for support and information, and not on wider sources such as friends and support groups, show Australian study results.

However, despite most infertile men in the study cohort not reporting an adverse effect of their diagnosis on their intimate partner relationship or sexual satisfaction, "a sizeable minority recall negative effects," say Karin Hammarberg (University of Melbourne, Victoria) and colleagues.

Study participants (n = 106) were asked about the perceived impact of their infertility on personal relationships, and their subsequent use of support mechanisms.

A total of 25 percent of men reported a negative (a score of 1 or 2 where 5 = most positive) impact on their intimate partner relationship, and sexual satisfaction was reported as diminished by 32 percent of men.

Participants gave scores of 4.39 and 4.13 for the respective usefulness of information and support from clinic staff, while men's main source of support was their partner (at 4.59).

Strikingly, friends and support groups were scored as just 3.41 and 2.72, respectively, for usefulness of support, say Hammarberg et al.

"This indicates that psychologically informed supporting clinical care is particularly important for men diagnosed as infertile," they conclude.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy