Fertility and Cystic Fibrosis

Did you know that people living with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) generally have significantly impacted fertility also?  For those who don’t know,  CF is a autosomal recessive genetic disorder  that affects mostly the lungs but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys and intestine. It is caused by the presence of mutations in both copies of the gene for the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance   (CFTR) protein.  Those with a single working copy are carriers and otherwise mostly normal.  There is no known cure for cystic fibrosis but treatments manage lung function and infection in the short term, with some people ultimately having lung transplants.   Treatment also involves pancreatic enzyme replacement.

Infertility affects both men and women with CF. At least 97% of men with cystic fibrosis are infertile, but not sterile and can have children with assisted reproductive techniques. (The main cause of infertility in men with CF is congenital absence of the vas deferens (which normally connects the testes to the ejaculatory ducts of the penis). Around 20% of women with CF have fertility difficulties due to thickened cervical mucus or malnutrition. In severe cases, malnutrition disrupts ovulation.

So, this blog by John is a beautiful story of how seemingly overwhelming fertility issues can be overcome.  John and his partner have been fortunate to access good care and have become proud parents – congratulations! http://livingmydreamswithcf.blogspot.com.au/p/ivf.html