Status Plus




Do international experts in fertility preservation adress sexual problems in fertility-treatment? Igls-Vienna-SexMed-Survey-Program: Reproductive Medicine Experts' Self-Assessment-Results at the 5th biennal World Congress for Fertility Preservation, Vienna, November 2017

Ucsnik, L1; Kottmel, A2; Bitzer, J3; Teleky, B4; Meirow, D5; Egarter, CH6

1: Medical University Vienna, Austria; 2: Private Practice for Gynecology and Sexual Medicine, Vienna, AUT; 3: Private Practice for Gynecology, Basel, CH; 4: Medical University Vienna, Dpt for Surgery, Vienna, AUT; 5: Clinical Center for Fertility Preservation and the Fertility Preservation Research Laboratory at Sheba Medical Center, Tel- Hashomer, Israel; Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel- Aviv University, Israel; ; 6: Medical University Vienna, Dpt for Gynecology and Obstetrics, Division for Gynaecological Endocrinology and Reproduction, Vienna, AUT

Introduction: Fertility preservation plays an important role in medicine due to scientific and clinical results. The ability to reproduce is an essential aspect of patients’ sexual health.

Material: Thus, at the 5th biennal World Congress of the International Society for Fertility Preservation, Vienna, November 2017, 435 international experts were invited to self-assess whether they adress sexual health problems in therapy via 3-parted questionnaire. 66 returned questionnaires (15%), 53 were filled out, 11 not.

Results: 62% of the experts were female, 30% male, 34% aged between 41-50, 25% between 31 and 40, 19% between 51 and 60 years. 60% of them worked at university hospital, 28% in practice, 15% in private hospital. 11% of the participants were clinically active in fertility preservation more than 21 years, 32% of them between 6 and 10, 28% between 3 and 5 years. 34% of the participants stated to ask up to 20% of the patients, 25% asked between 80 and 100% about troubled sexual health. 45% assessed they were asked by up to 20% of the patients, 30% by between 21 and 40% of the patients. 36% of the survey’s participants assumed that 41 to 60% of the patients had sexual problems without actively asking the patients. The doctors suggested that the reasons why patients did not bring up sexual problems during medical consultation were in 64% “the topic was embarrassing for the patients”, in 49% “cultural aspects”, in 40% “other issues being more important”. 75% of the participants referred their patients with sexual problems to specialists in internal medicine, 55% to sex-education, -medicine and –therapy, 30% to psychotherapy. Sexual medicine support offered was in 58% sex-education, in 49% to hormone therapy, in 40% referral to medical specialists, in 30% to pain therapy. 51% of the participants rated patients “often” took their advice. 30% assessed to have successfully helped in between 21 and 40% of the patients, 26% in between 41 and 60% of the patients. Reasons decreasing consultation’s success were rated: in 34% “patients’ cultural aspects”, in 30% “lack of sexual medicine competence for adequate therapy”.

Conclusion: The survey’s participants represented doctors starting in fertility preservation up to top-experts. No one assessed not to ask the patients or were not asked by patients about troubled sexual health. Interestingly, 30% of the international experts assessed the need for sexual medicine training. Assessment-results also show the importance of diversity aspects for successful fertility treatment which should be more focussed on.


Work supported by industry: no.

Go Back