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Is Infertility Hereditary?

By Vicken Sahakian, M.D. on September 05, 2017

A woman pondering her fertility treatment optionsAt Pacific Fertility Center, we offer our patients a full range of fertility treatment options, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), ovulation induction, and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and screening (PGS). We also offer compassionate support and guidance throughout the fertility treatment process, taking the time to answer our patients’ questions and educate them about their fertility.

One of the questions we are most commonly asked by our patients during consultations is “Is infertility hereditary?” Our Los Angeles, CA fertility specialists answer this and other questions honestly and openly, in straightforward, plain language. We want our patients to be fully informed at all times about their fertility and how their bodies function so that they can make the most confident decisions possible about their treatment.

If you would like to learn more about your fertility treatment options, please schedule your initial consultation at Pacific Fertility Center today.

Genetic Factors behind Infertility

Infertility can often be attributed to genetic factors. Examples of genetic factors include:

  • Inherited chromosome abnormalities: Inherited chromosome abnormalities include deletion, in which a piece of a chromosome is missing; inversion, in which the chromosome is upside down; mutation, in which there is a change in the gene’s DNA sequence; aneuploidy, in which there are too many or too few chromosomes; and translocation, in which pieces of a chromosome are attached to the incorrect chromosome.
  • Inherited genetic diseases: Although relatively rare, infertility can be caused by an inherited genetic disease caused by abnormal genes or mutations. Single-gene abnormalities generally point to families with histories of genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Tay Sachs, both fatal diseases. Fortunately, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis can often be used to prevent the passage of such single-gene disorders when used in conjunction with IVF. In males, mutations in the cystic fibrosis gene can result in congenital absence of the vas deferens, which will affect sperm flow.
  • Chromosomal disorders that affect sperm production: There are also chromosomal disorders that specifically affect sperm production, including Klinefelter’s syndrome and Y chromosome deletions.
  • Endometriosis and early menopause: If other women in your family have had difficulty achieving successful pregnancy due to endometriosis or early menopause, there is an increased chance that you will have difficulty achieving successful pregnancy for these reasons, too.

It is rare that infertility can be attributed solely to genetic factors. In most cases, there are multiple causes of infertility. The more of these causes that can be identified and addressed, the more likely that infertility treatment will be effective. Fortunately, infertility treatment has come a long way throughout the years and continues to progress. Even genetic factors can now often be overcome with proper treatment protocols.

Learn More about Whether Infertility Is Hereditary

If you would like to learn more about the genetic factors that influence infertility, or you wish to schedule a consultation with one of our highly esteemed fertility specialists, please contact Pacific Fertility Center today. We would be pleased to help you in any way that we can.

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