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Title: Two-part investigation of the biopsychosocial model in male reproductive health : A cross-sectional investigation of the association between infertility diagnosis and emotional distress in men (Part I) ; and, A prospective controlled investigation of the effect of psychosocial stress on corticosterone, testosterone and sperm parameters in male rats (Part II)
Author: Peronace, Laura A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2750 2799
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis explored the interactions between psychological well-being and male fertility using the biopsychosocial model. The biopsychosocial model proposes that biological, psychological, and social processes interact and impact on health. These interrelationships were investigated in a sample of men undergoing fertility treatment and in a set of experiments using an animal model of stress. It is commonly thought that men with male factor infertility suffer more compared to men in couples with other infertility diagnoses, mainly due to the social stigma attached to being a man unable to father. The inter-relationships among diagnosis, psychological stress, and social environment were examined in men during a twelve month period of fertility treatment. It was found that men, regardless of diagnosis, showed signs of suffering over time and perceived some deterioration in their social environment that was at least partly caused by their psychological well-being at the start of treatment. To better understand how stress and reproductive processes interact, an animal stressor paradigm was developed. Male rats were exposed to a psychosocial cage change stressor (PCCS) where housing alternated every day between being alone, or in a new combination of two or three rats per cage for either 12 or 24 days. The four experiments showed that exposure to PCCS induced a mild physical stress response and consistent effects on reproductive parameters. It was concluded that the psychological and social aspects of the PCCS each have an impact on reproduction. This thesis has provided evidence of biopsychosocial links in the reproductive context supporting a biopsychosocial model of male fertility.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available