Awareness of and attitudes towards infertility and its treatment: a cross-sectional survey of men in a United States primary care population

Asian J Androl. 2014 Nov-Dec;16(6):858-63. doi: 10.4103/1008-682X.132782.


Previous studies have described racial and socioeconomic disparities in the treatment of infertility. Patient factors such as attitudes and awareness may be contributing factors. Since primary care is often the setting that serves as an entry into other areas of medicine, we sought to evaluate men's attitudes and awareness of male infertility in the primary care setting. To do this, we performed a cross-sectional survey of men's attitudes toward men's health issues in 210 men from two primary care clinic waiting rooms in Atlanta, Georgia. The survey was self-administered with closed-ended question items and was approximately 20 min in length. Of the 310 men approached, 210 agreed to participate and returned completed surveys. Overall, 52% of men said they were "very" or "somewhat" familiar with infertility and 25% were familiar with treatments for infertility. Some men had heard of surgery (21%) and medication (35%) as treatments for male infertility. Awareness and familiarity with the condition was greater in high socioeconomic status men (i.e. college graduates or those with income >$100 k per year) but did not differ by race on multivariate analysis. Attitudes toward infertility varied by race with non-Caucasian men being more likely to indicate that infertility is a serious condition, to be concerned about infertility, and to believe it decreases a man's quality-of-life. Therefore, a lack of awareness, but not negative attitudes, may contribute to previously-described disparities in the treatment of infertility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Awareness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Male* / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Health Care*
  • United States
  • Young Adult