Infertility can be caused by numerous different health and lifestyle factors. People predominantly focus 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 isn’t as commonly talked about 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.
Genetics And Infertility
Through personalized care and attention, our goal at Carolinas Fertility Institute is to help make your fertility journey as stress-free as possible. Whether you’re struggling to conceive due to lifestyle factors, medical conditions, or genetics, we work hard to help families achieve their parenting dreams. In this blog, we aim to examine the role your genetics play in infertility.
According to Brigham and Women’s, chromosomal abnormalities include changes in the number or structure of the chromosomes which carry the DNA. The normal number of chromosomes for humans is 46. Chromosomally abnormal embryos have a lower implantation rate in the uterus. This decreased 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 genetics, 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.
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, due to genetics, 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 genetics when ruling out the cause of infertility.
Many men and women affected by infertility due to genetics or other disorders have turned to assisted reproductive technology. While treatments depend on your body and your condition, procedures like laparoscopy, intrauterine fertilization, or in vitro fertilization are all possible treatment options for genetics that impact fertility. Talk to your fertility specialist at Carolina Fertility Institute about your concerns with genetics related infertility to determine the proper testing, diagnosis, and treatment plan for you.
Talk to a Fertility Specialist
At Carolinas Fertility Institute, we understand infertility is no small feat— 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 for more questions about genetics and infertility, or schedule an appointment.