ORLANDO, FL (UroToday) - The authors hypothesize that men with male factor infertility (MFI) may experience greater emotional and social distress, and lower levels of marital functioning than men in infertile couples without MFI.

Self-report questionnaires and interviews were used to evaluate infertile couples' experiences at baseline and various follow-up points in time. The Marital Disagreement Index; Life Impact, Perceived Stress, Partner Satisfaction, Sexual Satisfaction, and Sexual Function scores; and Family Understanding, Family and Friend Impact scales were used to evaluate marital and interpersonal function.

25% reported high levels of relationship stress, and 15% reported serious issues with their marriage, 17% pointed to infertility treatment as a source of significant stress, and 1% reported marital infidelity.

This study used validated measures of psychosocial function and revealed that men in infertile couples experience significant psychosocial stress. However, this study did not identify major differences in psychosocial or marital functioning between men with and without a male factor diagnosis.

Editorial Comment:Anyone who treats infertile couples is aware of the fact that infertility places strains on the individuals and the couple. Interestingly, the couples with male factor infertility did not appear to differ from the other couples. Nevertheless, we as professionals must be aware of these stresses and counsel patients about these potential stresses.

Presented by James F Smith, MD, et al., at the Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA) - May 17 - 22, 2008. Orange County Convention Center - Orlando, Florida, USA.

Reported by UroToday Contributing Editor Harris M. Nagler, MD

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