BACKGROUND: The Men in Australia Telephone Survey (MATeS) describes the prevalence of self-reported reproductive health disorders as well as related concerns and health behaviours among middle-aged and older Australian men. METHODS: A representative sample population (n=5990) of Australian men (>or=40 years) was obtained by contacting a random selection of households with unbiased sampling, stratified by age and state. A 20-min computer-assisted telephone interview was done to assess reproductive health and related knowledge and beliefs, sociodemographic factors, general health, and lifestyle factors. FINDINGS: A response rate of 78% (5990/7636) was achieved. 34% (1627/4737) of men surveyed reported one or more reproductive health disorder, all of which were most common in the oldest age group. Age-standardised prevalence of significant lower urinary tract symptoms was 16%, erectile dysfunction was 21%, and prostate disease was 14%. About 50% of participants reported having had a prostate cancer test whereas only 30% (300/1012) of men with erectile dysfunction sought medical help. Willingness to seek medical help for erectile dysfunction was related to age and ethnic origin. Although men aged 40-69 years expressed a moderate or high level of concern about prostate cancer and loss of erectile function, concern about reproductive health was less in the oldest age group (>or=70 years). INTERPRETATION: The high prevalence of reproductive health disorders and associated concerns in middle-aged and older Australian men draws attention to the need to develop appropriate services and education strategies specifically directed to improving reproductive health in these men.