Male Reproductive Health

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Reproductive health programs have traditionally focused on women. However, it is now widely recognized that men have an important influence on women’s and children’s health, as well as distinct health needs of their own. As a result, DSHS family planning and reproductive health programs have increased efforts to provide clinical and educational services to males.

Previous program data indicates that:

  • Men are overwhelmingly satisfied with the services they receive in DSHS funded family planning clinics.
  • Female clients are the first resource in outreach to males. Over half of men are referred to services by their partner, female friend or mother.
  • Male reproductive health services provide health services to a population of men who have little or no other health resources including health insurance.
  • Most men report their reason for coming into the clinic is to be checked for sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Most men report using condoms “sometimes” although a disconcerting number report “never”.
  • The majority of men practice withdrawal as a birth control technique at least “sometimes”.
  • Almost half of men report having multiple partners.

Men’s Reproductive Health Needs
Title X Male Involvement Prevention Services
Steps to Increase Male Services
Assessment Tools
Developing Policy and Protocols
Developing Smart Objectives
Staff Training

Men’s Reproductive Health Needs

Men’s reproductive health needs include a wide range of services: family planning, treatment and the prevention of STI/HIV/AIDS, infertility, sexual problems (impotency), and others. Men need clinics and staff that provide confidential and non-judgmental care. Program staff should be aware that, like women, men are not a homogenous group.

The needs of adolescent males, married men, older men, men with HIV/AIDS, and homosexual men differ. Reaching men can be more difficult than reaching women, for whom family planning and child health clinics have been specifically designed. Traditionally, men are much less likely to use a health clinic than women are.

Resources:
Male Health Framework and Recommendations - Urban Institute.
Guidelines for Male Sexual and Reproductive Health - Region 2 Male Involvement Advisory Committee
Learn about STDs - American Social Health Association
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Information - Center for Disease Control (CDC)


Steps to Increase Male Services

Use the Male Friendliness Assessment (MFA) tool to evaluate a clinic

Additional Tools to help with the MFA

Develop Agency Policy and Protocols

  • Address the family planning needs of men as well as women.
  • Use feedback from the MFA to develop goals, objectives, and activities designed to increase the number of male clients.

Provide Staff Training

The MFA may uncover areas where staff needs competency training:

  • Creating a male welcoming environment
  • Learning counseling and communication skills to interact effectively with men
  • Conducting outreach to males
  • Providing culturally competent services to adolescent males, older males, gay males, etc.
  • Facilitating male/female sexual communication
Last updated September 25, 2013