Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type



As the number and age of human couples turning to assisted reproductive technology (ART) continues to increase, it is essential for clinicians to understand infertility threats related to both female and male patients. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between age, environment, and reproductive success in male patients having participated in assisted reproductive technology. In corresponding experiments, male infertility variables such as; age, lifestyle exposures, body mass index (BMI), and infertility length with current partner (ILCP) were investigated. A retrospective collection of clinical male patient data from 2011 to 2014 was evaluated. Thirty-five variables were collected from an original sample of 132 patients and correlated for relationships related to male fertility. A negative relationship was observed between pregnancy and male age, IVF pregnancy and male age, male age and semen volume, and male age and semen progressive motility. A negative correlation was also revealed among alcohol usage and semen volume and alcohol usage and total motile sperm/specimen. Additionally, a positive correlation was observed between ILCP and percent normal semen. The goal of the following study, the clinician survey, was to evaluate and compare differences in opinions. Questions pertained to male infertility factors and fertility clinic practices. Clinicians responded with the following opinion rates; 67.9% felt semen analysis was an effective predictor, 32.7% reported no idea if DNA fragmentation was a predictor, 58.5% were in agreement that male age had somewhat significance, 80.1% responded that genetics and/or epigenetics displayed somewhat or significant influence (41.5% and 39.6%), 58.5% believed male exposure/environmental factors displayed significance, 53.9% felt access to more male information would enable better care. The most commonly seen descriptive variable clinicians reported was ILCP (70.8%), the most important semen characteristic was sperm count (84.6%), the most commonly seen urological variable was vasectomy (77.8%), smoking was the most commonly seen environmental exposure (74.5%), and medication use was the most commonly seen medical variable (84.8%). Clinicians described that 39.1% of patient charts were <25.0% completed and 63.0% of clinicians acknowledged that the industry was not providing adequate male reproductive information to infertility patients.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Burnett, Michael