For a study, researchers sought to assess the management of male factor infertility by fertility clinics, including website instructional material and variables related to referral for urologic examination & care.

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Fertility Clinic Success Rates Reports from 2015 to 2018, 480 active fertility clinics in the US were located. The information on clinic websites relating to male infertility was rigorously evaluated. To determine how each clinic manages male factor infertility, structured telephone interviews with clinic personnel were conducted. A urologist referred a patient for treatment of male infertility based on a variety of clinic characteristics, including geographic region, practice size, practice setting, proximity to a urologist, in-state andrology fellowship, state-mandated fertility coverage, annual IVF cycles, and percentage of IVF cycles for male factor infertility using multivariable logistic regression models.

In addition to interviewing 477 fertility clinics, they looked at available (n = 474) websites. About 46% of web pages mentioned therapy, whereas most (77%) of websites covered male infertility assessment. Around 50 clinics (11%) have urologists on staff. The likelihood of bigger practices, affiliation with academic institutions, and discussion of male infertility treatment on a clinic’s website was all higher in facilities with on-site urologists (all P≤.05). The practice size and existence of an in-state andrology fellowship program were the most effective predictors of urologic referral for clinics without an on-site urologist (P<.02).

Couples with male factor infertility may have difficulty accessing urologic treatment due to variations in patient-facing education, infertility office environment, and size.