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How Cystic Fibrosis Affects the Reproductive System


Topic Overview

In men, cystic fibrosis may affect the development of the vas deferens, which is the tube that carries sperm. The tube can also become blocked with mucus. Sperm are still made, but they are not released during ejaculation. This results in an inability to father children (infertility).

Although cystic fibrosis does not affect the development of the reproductive organs in women, thick mucus makes fertilization of the egg difficult. But most women who have this disease can become pregnant. Before a woman who has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis becomes pregnant, she should discuss with her doctor the risks, what to expect, and other issues. Many women who have cystic fibrosis have successful pregnancies, but they need close monitoring because of their nutritional status and the extra strain on their lungs.

If you have cystic fibrosis and are thinking about getting pregnant, be sure to talk openly with your doctor about it. You may also want to consider genetic testing for you and your partner, to find out your chances of having a child with cystic fibrosis.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerSusanna McColley, MD - Pediatric Pulmonology
Last RevisedJune 15, 2011

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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