Feature Article

The role of the GP in managing male infertility

Rob McLachlan, Gab Kovacs, Roger Cook



A couple with subfertility should be assessed as a couple. However, there are certain aspects of management that apply only to the man. As with any other area of medicine, the medical history, examination and investigations are vital.

Key Points

  • GPs are often the first point of contact for an infertile couple. The GP’s role includes taking a detailed history and examining both partners, supporting the couple (both medically and psychologically) through the entire process of investigation, arranging management and follow up, ordering fertility investigations, discussing treatment options and referring to specialists.
  • The examination and investigation of the fertility of the male partner allows identification of conditions that commonly cause male infertility and that may be treated to restore natural fertility.
  • GPs may refer the couple to specialists for treatment. Performing preliminary tests before referral will help to hasten the specialist investigations.
  • Long-term follow up is important when a clinical or subclinical condition is identified in the male partner.