Conceiving a child could be frustrating when you don’t get a positive result, but struggling to conceive doesn’t always mean the end of the road. Why you are struggling to have a child, or to have a brother or sister for your child is often a knotty question to answer.
For so many reasons, infertility can seem like the end, but with patience and thorough knowledge, you can get to determine if your infertility is hereditary, and the possible reasons behind not being able to conceive naturally, and also how to fix the problem.
Is infertility hereditary? Can you blame your parents if you’re having trouble getting pregnant? The short answer is probably not. Your family history is not the biggest factor—or even one of the biggest factors—that affects your fertility. You may be surprised to learn that infertility can run in families. What this means is that your success rates of conceiving naturally can be similar to that of your parents or your siblings.
A number of factors can and do contribute to infertility so it tends to be difficult to explicitly say whether the ability to conceive is passed from parents to their children.
The right answer is that infertility could be hereditary, but it is not always so. This is because there are hundreds of potential reasons behind you or any other person for that matter may be infertile – including secondary unexplained infertility.
Diagnosing hereditary infertility is particularly tricky. As a woman, if you suspect that you may be infertile or are struggling to conceive naturally, you would need to consult a fertility specialist to conduct a thorough investigation of your womb, tubes and ovaries to put your mind at ease.
For male fertility test, sperm analysis if there are no issues present in either of these fertility test, your specialist may suggest looking into your family history to see if any patterns could have repeated.
There are reasons why hereditary infertility may occur. In the first place, it is important to be aware that there is no infertility gene, and it cannot explicitly be said that every parent who is infertile passes the condition through their DNA.
In cases where infertility is passed from parents to children, certain conditions can be hereditary. These conditions may cause the sufferer to become infertile, which is one of the lead causes of hereditary infertility.
If there are problems with your ovaries, it is not impossible that you inherited the problems from your mother. Conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) that affects how the ovaries work could lead you to having irregular periods and lack of ovulation. PCOS is one of the most common ovulatory reasons women are having difficulties with conceiving, but lifestyle modification and fertility treatments are able to help such women to become pregnant.
Another condition that is a potential reason behind hereditary infertility is endometriosis (where the tissue lining the womb is present outside the womb). It is quite commonly passed from mother to daughter, with the side effect being that one or both struggles to conceive.
One reason behind a genetic cause of male infertility is Klinefelter’s syndrome. This is a condition whereby men inherit an extra X chromosome from their father. It is one of the most common chromosomal disorders for men. Men who suffer with Klinefelter’s syndrome are more likely to struggle to conceive.
Many hereditary conditions manifest as infertility, and unfortunately, you may struggle to conceive, even if your biological parents didn’t suffer with the issue themselves.
This is because infertility factors such as poor egg quality, blocked sperm tubes and damaged fallopian tubes can occur in any adult, meaning that you may struggle to conceive even if your parents didn’t.
If you’re struggling to conceive and suspect that you may be infertile, it’s best to discuss your options with a fertility specialist. A series of investigations can be arranged for you are your spouse to assess your fertility potential and to diagnose fertility problems.
It is helpful to let you provider know about your family history, including PCOS, diabetes mellitus , endometriosis, fibroids, early menopause, developmental delay in males and low sperm counts.
You and your partner can also undergo screening to assess your risk of passing down a genetic condition to your future offspring. While a family history of many genetic conditions may not interfere with your ability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term, you may still want to have that knowledge. Genetic counselling can give you a clearer picture.
MD/CEO Nordica Fertility