Enrollment of partners is optional and will not affect a primary participant’s eligibility for the study.
Why should partners enroll?
When you provide more detailed information about your lifestyle and medical history, we can gain a better understanding of which factors affect a couple’s chances of successful pregnancy.
PRESTO also gives you a chance to participate in one of the first web-based fertility studies in North America. Regarding research questions of interest, we are examining whether body weight, exercise, stress, and sleep duration affect fertility. We are also interested in learning whether certain types of foods, nutrients, or nutritional supplements (e.g., multivitamins) improve sperm health and increase fertility. There is very little information about factors that promote optimal fertility in partners.
Couples where the partner completes our brief (10-15 minute) baseline questionnaire will be entered into a lottery to win a free $400 Visa Gift Card, or an Apple iPad mini, Apple iPad, Apple Watch, or Beats Headphone set not exceeding $400 in value.
Partners who complete their dietary survey (30-40 minutes) will receive a personalized nutrient summary report of their dietary intake along with the USDA guidelines for optimal nutrition. They will also be entered into a lottery to win a $100 gift card to the grocery store of their choosing.
Can one member of the couple enroll without the other member?
We require that the partner who will be carrying the pregnancy (the “primary participant”) enroll in the study. Partners (the member of the couple not carrying the pregnancy) cannot enroll without being invited by the primary participant. For full eligibility requirements of the primary participant, please refer to the home page of our website.
If you are the member of the couple not carrying the pregnancy and are interested in PRESTO, please pass the study information along to your partner so that both of you can get involved.
How long does it take to complete the partner questionnaires?
The partner baseline questionnaire takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. The dietary questionnaire takes about 30-40 minutes to complete.
Semen Testing Study
What is PRESTO's semen testing study?
In this study, 1000 partners will be invited to complete the PRESTO baseline survey and two in-home semen tests using semen analysis device (TrakTM
). Manufactured by Sandstone Diagnostics in California,
has been approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to measure semen volume and sperm concentration. This research is approved by the Boston University IRB and is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
What are the objectives of the semen testing study?
This study seeks to evaluate the usability of the TrakTM device, to assess whether lifestyle and behavioral factors are associated with semen quality, and to determine whether semen quality predicts future fertility and other pregnancy outcomes.
What is the study protocol?
Participants will be mailed a TrakTM kit within 2 weeks of completing their baseline survey. TrakTM will be shipped in discreet packaging so that it is not identifiable as a semen testing kit. Participants will be asked to collect a semen sample, perform their own semen analysis, and upload their results to the secure study website. Participants will be instructed to do the TrakTM tests during the luteal phase (post-ovulation) of their partner’s menstrual cycle, so as to not interfere with their pregnancy attempts. Reminder e-mails will notify participants of the ideal period during which to perform each test, estimated using data on their partner’s date of last menstrual period and cycle length. Because of changes in semen quality over time, participants will be asked to take a second test 7-10 days later.
Will I be paid for participating?
Yes, participants will be reimbursed for their time with a $20 electronic gift card after they upload the data from both semen tests.
Qualitative Study of Partner Participation (completed in 2019)
What was the purpose of this study?
In this study, a sample of respondents and non-respondents to the partner baseline questionnaire were invited to complete in-person interviews and focus groups. They will be asked questions about their decision to participate in PRESTO. This work was published and can be viewed here
. In summary, we learned that the primary reasons partners chose to participate include: 1) wanting to support one’s partner, 2) helping future couples; 3) recognizing the value of research (believing in science); and 4) learning more about “male factor” in reproductive health research.