Educational program in the management of infertility in men with spinal cord injury: update

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Spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs most often to young men in their family planning years. Fertility is severely impaired in these men. There is widespread lack of knowledge about sperm retrieval in men with SCI and management of couples with an SCI male partner. These couples often are not offered the options or the opportunities to achieve a pregnancy with less expensive, less invasive, and simpler methods of assisted conception that are typically offered to those with a non-injured male partner. An educational program was developed by our group and funded by the Craig Neilsen Foundation to address this unmet need.


The three-year educational program is currently in its second year. The program covers all aspects of the management of infertility in men with SCI, with an emphasis on methods of semen retrieval. At our center at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the curriculum consists of 1.5 days of training, including a half-day of didactic instruction, and 2 half-days of live demonstrations of the semen retrieval procedures of penile vibratory stimulation and electroejaculation. Travel reimbursement is available to professionals attending the course in Miami. The course can also be presented to outside centers upon request. Up to 7.5 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits® are available to physicians attending the course in Miami or elsewhere.


1) From July 2016 to October 2017: 42 professionals attended the full program in Miami. 15 participants are confirmed for sessions in December 2017 and January 2018. 2) The program was presented in 2017 at the following meetings: AUA, ASA, ASCIP, and ASIA, with approximately 660 professionals attending. 3) Abstracts and posters were presented at ASRM, SESAUA, and internationally at ESHRE and ISCoS. 4) Training outside Miami was held in San Antonio and Austin, with future sessions in Dallas, TX, Englewood, CO, and Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Providing simple and safe methods of semen retrieval in men with SCI, and understanding couples&[prime] management requires knowledge and training. This educational program offers professionals and health care providers the opportunity to master these skills and deliver optimal service to patients. Training will be available through December 2018. For more information, contact Dr. Nancy Brackett:

Funding: Craig Neilsen Foundation Grant # 365254