Treatment discontinuation in couples consulting for male infertility after failing to conceive

Of the 1,345 couples who consulted for male factor infertility, 407 patients discontinued treatment principally due to painfulness of treatment and its ineffectiveness. Of these patients, 20% finally succeeded in having a child.


Marie Walschaerts, Ph.D., Louis Bujan, M.D., Ph.D., Jean Parinaud, M.D., Ph.D., Roger Mieusset, M.D., Ph.D., Patrick Thonneau, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 99, Issue 5, Pages 1319-1323, April 2013



To evaluate rates and reasons for treatment discontinuation in couples with male infertility and who failed to conceive.


Retrospective study.


Male Sterility Center, University Hospital.


Four hundred seven couples consulting for male infertility and who discontinued treatment without conceiving.



Main Outcome Measure(s):

Treatment, reasons for dropout, and reproductive outcomes after discontinuation.


Of the 407 patients, 218 (54%) had had fertility treatment (medical or surgical), and 189 (46%) had ART (intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)). The main reasons for dropout were painfulness of treatment (15% for patients with non-ART treatment vs. 32% for patients who had had ART), its ineffectiveness (12% vs. 26%), and separation of the couple (18% vs. 7%). Of the 407 patients, 27% consulted in another fertility center, 8% succeeded in having a child by ART treatment with male partner sperm, 1% by ART with donor sperm, and 11% through adoption.


About half of couples consulting for male infertility discontinued fertility treatment, and of those who discontinued only a fifth finally succeeded in having a child. Although support is available to couples during fertility care, ART procedures are a physical and psychological burden.

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