“Am I Masculine?” A metasynthesis of qualitative studies on traditional masculinity on infertility

Cennikon Pakpahan, Raditya Ibrahim, William William, Patricia S. Kandar, Darmadi Darmadi, A. ST Aldilah Khaerana, Supardi Supardi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The rate of infertility is increasing day by day. According to studies conducted worldwide, 30 million men are diagnosed with infertility. Cases of infertility are often associated with a failure to become male in society. Procreation and gender roles are often closely linked so that infertile men are often considered the second sex. Sometimes, this condition makes men question their masculinity. Methods: We performed a systematic review and metasynthesis with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guideline procedure on qualitative studies on ten databases exploring the experience of infertile men and their association with masculinity. Results: Twenty-four studies matched our question, and there are two major themes with eight subthemes that were obtained from the results of the metasynthesis of these studies. The impact of this gender issue is huge on men’s health and their social interactions. As a result, gender issues provide a space for debate and a burden on men. Sometimes, men develop mental health problems. The topic of masculinity and infertility is at odds with feminism and is susceptible to the societal stigma that results from the hegemonic conception of masculinity. Interestingly, the men must accept reality and follow the treatment process for infertility, although it affects their psychological well-being. Conclusions: These findings provide insight for physicians, as treating infertility requires a multidisciplinary team that does not only address procreation issues. Social issues related to gender roles often bring patients into harmful and dangerous conditions. To address the gender issue in men globally in several dimensions, however, a large study in various populations is still required.

Original languageEnglish
Article number252
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • feminism
  • gender equality
  • infertility
  • masculinity
  • metasynthesis
  • psychological well-being
  • qualitative


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