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Use of empirical medical therapies for idiopathic male infertility in Australia and New Zealand.

OBJECTIVE: Idiopathic male infertility is common, yet there is no approved treatment. This study aimed to understand practice patterns towards empirical medical therapy (EMT) for idiopathic male infertility in Australia and New Zealand (NZ).

DESIGN: Clinical members of the Endocrine Society of Australia, Fertility Society of Australia & NZ, and Urological Society of Australia & NZ were invited to complete a survey. Questions included demographics, EMT practice habits, and thoughts regarding infertility case scenarios. Unadjusted group differences between specialists, those with and without additional training in male infertility, and frequency of managing it were evaluated.

RESULTS: Overall, 147 of 2340 members participated (6.3%); majority were endocrinologists and gynaecologists. Participants were experienced; 35% had completed additional training in male infertility and 36.2% reported they frequently manage male infertility. Gynaecologists were more likely to manage male infertility and attend education courses than endocrinologists and urologists. Beliefs about the effect of EMT on sperm concentration and pregnancy did not differ between speciality types. Many respondents considered all patient scenarios suitable for EMT. Of medications, hCG and clomiphene were selected most. Two respondents indicated they would use testosterone to treat male infertility.

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates common use of EMT in Australia and NZ for idiopathic male infertility. The breadth of responses reflects a lack of consensus within the current literature, highlighting the need for further research to clarify their role in the management of idiopathic male infertility.

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