Survey identifies what men want in rooms where they provide specimens for in vitro fertilization.


WASHINGTON, D.C.—A recent survey identified what men would like in a semen collection room at an assisted reproduction clinic. They want sound privacy, cleanliness, and face-to-face instruction.

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At the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Boston, Nurses at Brigham and Women’s Hospital devised a survey that they gave to the male partners of in vitro fertilization (IVF) patients on the day of egg retrieval, after the men had used the center’s semen collection room (SCR), which is known as “The Men’s Lounge.” The men were told of the center’s plans to make changes in the SCR, and that the nurses were seeking feedback and suggestions. A total of 100 men completed anonymous survey questionnaires.


In the survey, respondents were asked to indicate whether they strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with statements about the lounge. For example, one statement was: “The Men’s Lounge has adequate sound privacy.” The men had room for comments after each question. The respondents were presented with a list of nine types of media, and asked to choose which of them they would find most helpful in producing a semen specimen.


The researchers, who presented the study findings at the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, found that the men were generally satisfied with the collection room. The researchers found that 95% of the surveyed men said they would prefer heterosexual types of media, followed by oral sex (50%), and lesbian sex (38%). A total of 71% preferred face-to-face instructions. Respondents expressed the greatest dissatisfaction with the sound privacy of the room.


“We found out a lot of interesting things,” said lead investigator Sherilyn Levy, RN, BSN, who is the center’s nurse in charge. “They wanted it to be more private and they worried about cleanliness.” She noted that many men said they heard doors slam and this caused them to worry about whether somebody could hear them outside the room.


She said this survey is important be-cause the men are being asked to masturbate while their partners are undergoing a surgical procedure. Often, the men are overlooked. “They are

really just peripheral people when it comes to IVF. So we wanted to know if the experience was okay with them too,” Levy said.