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Unit information: Infertility- Diagnosis & Management in 2015/16

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Unit name Infertility- Diagnosis & Management
Unit code SOCSM0009
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Gordon
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Medical School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This module covers the causes, prevalence and investigations of infertility. This module will provide the students with a comprehensive understanding of the primary and secondary levels of infertility diagnosis and management. It will outline the clinical and laboratory techniques that are utilised in the diagnosis of infertility. This knowledge will enable students to interpret and apply these techniques at primary and secondary level of management and treatment of fertility.

The four main aims of the module are:

  • It will provide a comprehensive coverage of the primary and secondary level of management of couples with difficulty in conceiving.
  • It will provide detailed coverage of various pathologies associated with infertility in both male as well as female partners.
  • It will provide detailed coverage of the diagnostic tests as well as management options available for each of the pathologies.
  • It will explore, through a number of practical case studies and scenarios, the difficulties as well as dilemmas faced in day to day infertility practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module it is expected that the students will be able to:

  • Describe the investigation pathways of couples suffering from infertility.
  • Identify the common pathologies associated with infertility like anovulation, endometriosis, tubal problems, unexplained and male infertility.
  • Recognise the contribution of related disciplines such as cytogenetics, ultrasound and counseling in infertility.
  • Evaluate the routine laboratory techniques and clinical procedures used to investigate cases of infertility.
  • Formulate a treatment pathway including the investigations and likely management in a case of infertility.

Other Skills

  1. Develop and enhance their communication and presentation skills.
  2. Develop and enhance their collaborative learning skills.
  3. Critically reflect upon and appraise their own learning.
  4. Critically reflect upon and appraise the learning of their peers.

Teaching Information

  • Lectures (10)
  • On line tutorials (5)
  • Seminar (1)
  • Practicals (4)

Assessment Information

Summative Assessment

  • Coursework (contributing a total of 60% to the module)

A. 5 sets of multiple choice questions (MCQ) of a simple format (e.g. select an answer from a short number of options, true/false) each contributing 5% to module giving a total of 25%.B. 1500 word Essay contributing 20% to moduleC. 4 x assessments related to practical/clinical skills in the form of either short answer question sets or extended MCQs each contributing 2.5% to module giving a total of 10%D. Peer assessed problem-based case studies seminar contributing 5% to module. 

  • Written Exams (contributing a total of 40% to the module)

A. MCQ paper - contributing 20%B. Extended MCQ paper - contributing 20%

The passmark for the module will be 50%. However students will be required to reach a minimum standard in both their coursework and their written exam. As such only 5% compensation between the total coursework element and the total exam element will be allowed.

Reading and References

  1. Infertility in Practice by Adam H Balen, 3rd edition 2008, Published by Informa Healthcare.
  2. Understanding Infertility (BMA, Family Doctor Series) by David Cahill & Peter Wardle, 2004.
  3. Fertility- assessment and treatment for people with fertility problems. NICE Guidelines 2004.
  4. Fundamentals of obstetrics and gynaecology by Llewellyn-Jones. Ed by Jeremy Oats & Suzanne Abraham. 9th Edition 2010. Published by Edinburgh:Mosby.
  5. Clinical Gynaecologic Endocrinology and Infertility. Marc A Fritz, Leon Speroff. 8th edition 2011