To characterize the general health status of infertile men in the United States using a nationally representative sample of men.
Using the National Survey for Family Growth from 2011 to 2017, infertile subgroups were created using a range of inclusion criteria. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted comparing these men to fertile men.
Using population estimates, 6.5 million men with reduced fertility potential were compared to 26 million fertile men. After controlling for demographic and healthcare utilization factors, these groups did not have significantly different rates of key medical co-morbidities, including cancer, obesity, and overall disability. Looking at the subset of men who had received a specific infertility diagnosis, estimated as a population of nearly 600,000 men, this pattern held, in that there were no significant differences in the rates of medical co-morbidities. Notably, the rate of male infertility evaluation among potentially infertile men was only 50%. These findings also persisted after a propensity-matched analysis.
In this cohort, there was no significant relationship between infertility and specific medical co-morbidities. We must consider the influence of sample selection as we continue to investigate the relationship between medical co-morbidities and reduced fertility potential. Given the persistent low rates of infertility evaluation, even among men who seek medical advice to conceive, we must continue to search for ways to characterize the infertile male population while simultaneously working to improve access.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.