Male Reproductive Health: A village based study of camp attenders in rural India
1 Primary Care Sciences Research Centre, Keele University, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG, UK
2 Family Health International (FHI), India Country Office, Opposite Convention Hall, Ashok Hotel, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021, India
3 Child in Need Institute (CINI), PO Pailan via Joka, Kolkata 700104. West Bengal, India
Reproductive Health 2004, 1:7 doi:10.1186/1742-4755-1-7Published: 22 November 2004
A paucity of information about male reproductive health and a perceived interest in involvement among local men provided the impetus for carrying out a village based male reproductive health camp. The aim was to investigate men's willingness to participate in such camps, and to describe reproductive health problems in men.
Structured interviews were carried out with 120 men attending a reproductive health check-up in a village in rural West Bengal, India. General information, details of family planning methods used and data on reproductive health complaints were collected. Clinical examinations were also carried out. Socio-demographic characteristics were compared for men with and without reproductive health and urinary complaints.
Three quarters of the married men were using contraception, but the majority stated that their wives were responsible for it. The most common reproductive health complaint was urinary problems; 28% had burning on urination, and 22% reported frequent and/or difficult urination. There were few social or demographic differences between men with and without problems. Seventeen percent of the men had clinically diagnosed reproductive health problems, the most common being urethral discharge. None of the men with diagnosed problems were using condoms.
This study highlights the interest of men in their reproductive health, but also highlights the high proportion of men with problems. In addition, a number of men with clinically diagnosed problems had not reported them in the interviews, illustrating either the reticence to report or the lack of knowledge about symptoms of reproductive health problems. Recommendations for future programmes and research in this field are given.