Volume 112, Issue 4, Page 631
Robert E. Brannigan, M.D.
For couples encountering difficulty in conceiving a pregnancy, the multitude of potential male and female factor etiological issues to consider is quite sizable and can seem overwhelming. As couples work with their reproductive physicians to arrive at plans of care, many considerations must be taken into account, including: the level of treatment invasiveness, efficacy of therapy, time to realization of therapeutic benefit, potential morbidity of therapy, and cost. The fact that two patients, the male and female partner, must be jointly considered in this paradigm can prove to be challenging for the couple and physicians alike; numerous parameters must be carefully contemplated during the clinical decision-making process. Further compounding matters is the fact that, as the field of reproductive medicine continues to mature, outcomes data for existing, and new applications of medical and surgical therapies, must also be considered. Ideally, given the potential complexity of the treatment planning process, a collaborative, integrated approach is utilized by female and male reproductive health specialists.