PG22: The Significance, Implications And Heritability Of Male Infertility As A Disease

Date:October 13, 2013

Time:8:15 am - 5:00 pm

Location:Room 259 - Boston Convention and Exhibition Center


Paul J. Turek, M.D. (Chair), The Turek Clinic

Douglas T. Carrell, Ph.D., H.C.L.D., University of Utah School of Medicine

Andrea Salonia, M.D., University Vita-Salute San Raffaele

Thomas J. Walsh, M.D., M.S., University of Washington School of Medicine


Developed in Cooperation with the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology

Patient Care

The clinical significance of the male factor infertility evaluation has been underestimated to date. Given the well-described associations between male infertility and a) underlying concurrent medical conditions, b) genetic anomalies, c) environmental exposures and d) future cancers, male factor infertility is clearly a disease of clinical and epidemiological significance. However, it is estimated that less than one in four infertile males in the United States receives the recommended male factor evaluation as part of the couple infertility assessment. Educating clinicians about the implications of male factor infertility is the first step in changing clinical behavior that incorporates the male factor evaluation into every couple’s assessment. 

Through a thorough discussion of our current understanding of the medical, genetic and epidemiologic issues associated with male factor infertility, this course seeks to raise awareness and change practice patterns of clinicians who care for infertile couples. By emphasizing that male infertility is a window into both current and future health of the individual (i.e., is a biomarker of health), this course will: improve clinicians’ level of understanding and knowledge of relevant lifestyle issues and behaviors that are associated with infertility, help clinicians precisely identify those individuals at risk for genetic infertility, and enable clinicians to better educate their patients regarding the health risks associated with a male infertility diagnosis. It is our hope that this course will enlighten clinicians, laboratory technicians and researchers alike of the full impact of male infertility on the health, quality of life and longevity of affected individuals.

After participating in this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Describe three metabolic or hormonal disorders that are associated with male factor infertility.
  2. List the clinical criteria that define men at risk for genetic infertility due to Y chromosome deletions or karyotype anomalies.
  3. Delineate four lifestyle, occupational or exposure risk factors linked to male factor infertility.
  4. List two cancers that are more likely to occur in infertile men than otherwise healthy men AFTER a diagnosis of male factor infertility.
  5. Explain two genetic or medical conditions in offspring that are associated with severe male factor infertility or older paternal age.


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