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Your Genetics’ Role in Infertility

DNA strand to symbolize genetics and infertility

Infertility can be caused by numerous different health and lifestyle factors. In some of our past blogs, we’ve focused on lifestyle changes you can make to increase your chances of conceiving, as well as some of the medical conditions that may play a role in infertility. What we haven’t focused on as much is how your genetics can have an impact on your fertility. While certain medical conditions can be hereditary, there are more specific genetic factors such as a single-gene defect or chromosomal abnormalities that can lead to infertility. In this blog, we aim to examine the role your genetics play in infertility.

Chromosomal abnormalities

One of the genetic factors that impacts fertility is chromosomal abnormalities. Specifically, chromosomally abnormal embryos have a lower implantation rate in the uterus. This decrease rate of implantation leads to an increase in miscarriages. In men, chromosomal abnormalities can be associated with low sperm counts, which can lead to male infertility. In order to diagnose chromosomal abnormalities, you and your partner would need to undergo chromosomal testing.

Inherited genetic diseases

While rare, inherited genetic diseases may also impact fertility. Genetic diseases are due to abnormal genes or mutations and may affect reproductive organs leading to ovulatory disorders. Other rare genetic mutations can lead to dysfunctional receptors of the follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone. For couples facing infertility due to genetic disorders, a combination of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and early detection by means of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can work as a possible treatment. In addition to infertility cases, IVF and PGD can also help couples who do not struggle with infertility, but who have a family history of single-gene disorders such as cystic fibrosis and Tay Sachs disease.

Heredity conditions

 We’ve spent some time in the past discussing the relationship between endometriosis and infertility. Essentially, endometriosis can impact your ability to conceive because it can damage the reproductive organs needed for reproduction. Unfortunately, if women in your family have endometriosis, you may be at an increased risk of developing it as well. Similarly, when it comes to premature menopause, another condition that can cause infertility, there is an association between family history and developing the condition. While the correlation between these conditions and your family history does not mean that you’re certain to develop either endometriosis or premature menopause, it’s important to test for these when ruling out the cause of infertility.

Options

While treatments depend on your body and your condition, procedures like laparoscopy, intrauterine fertilization, or in vitro fertilization are all possible treatment options for genetic problems that impact fertility. Talk to your fertility specialist at Carolina Fertility Institute about your concerns with genetic-related infertility to determine the proper testing, diagnosis, and treatment plan for you.

Talk to a Fertility Specialist

At Carolinas Fertility Institute, we can work with you to develop a treatment plan that is right for you and your individual condition, whether that includes genetic infertility problems or other fertility issues. Contact our Charlotte office at 844-686-2233 or our offices in the Triad at 336-448-9100 to schedule an appointment.