Is Infertility A Hereditary Issue?

Is Infertility A Hereditary Issue?

Infertility is a fairly prevalent health problem that affects about 7% of all couples. It’s a clinically diverse disorder that includes combinations of environmental and genetic components. Nearly half of all cases of infertility are thought to be caused by genetic abnormalities. Thus, to answer simply, yes, infertility is a hereditary issue.

But as there are various causes of infertility, do all causes have a genetic predisposition? Let us find out.

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Causes Of Infertility & Whether It Is Hereditary Or Not?

Below we have listed the most common causes of infertility. Let us see if they are hereditary or not.

Endometriosis: endometriosis is one of the major causes of infertility. Endometriosis is a condition in which uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus. This can be repaired with surgery in certain cases, although it is not always possible. It is possible to be passed down to future generations from the maternal gene to the daughter. Thus it can be hereditary.

Quality of egg: This is not usually regarded as a genetic condition. Several lifestyle factors can highly influence the quality of the egg.

Irregular ovulation: One of the most prevalent causes of infertility is irregular ovulation. Healthy Ovulation is dependent on several factors thus it is difficult to pinpoint one specific cause of it. PCOS is one of the conditions that abrupt the menstrual cycle and interferes with regular ovulation. Thus, there are chances that irregular ovulation may have a genetic predisposition.

Male infertility: Low sperm count or poor sperm motility are common male infertility issues that may or may not be genetic. Male infertility can be attributed to a variety of variables, including genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors. A defect in the Y chromosome can be the reason for azoospermia, (the ability to form sperm) and also oligospermia (the ability to produce enough motile sperm)

Chromosome abnormalities: Embryos with chromosomal abnormalities have a low chance of implanting in the uterus of the mother. This frequently results in miscarriages. Even if the embryo implants, it is possible that the pregnancy will end in miscarriage. There are a variety of chromosomal abnormalities to consider which are discussed ahead.

Types Of Chromosomal Abnormalities

A chromosome is a condensed form of DNA that contains our genetic information and codes for the proteins that are required for the normal functioning of our tissues and organs. Any mismatch or abruption in even one genetic sequence can lead to severe impairments.

There are different kinds of chromosomal abnormalities and they are:

  • Deletion: a condition where an entire piece of a chromosome is missing, that is, deleted.
  • Inversion: a condition where a sequence of a gene on the chromosome is inverted
  • Mutation: a change in the genetic sequence
  • Translocation: a condition where a piece of a chromosome is present elsewhere

A Human being has 46 chromosomes. Any increase or decrease in this number is called aneuploidy. Aneuploidy is also one of the main reasons for infertility and can be inherited. The most common of these is translocation.

Even though a parent with a translocation appears normal, his or her embryo may inherit too much or too little genetic material, resulting in a miscarriage. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) in conjunction with in vitro fertilization may aid couples with specific chromosome problems (IVF).

How Can One Diagnose Hereditary Infertility?

If you’re a woman who thinks you might be infertile or are having trouble conceiving naturally, fertility specialists can perform a complete examination of your ovaries and Uterus to determine the cause of your infertility through various screenings.

A male fertility test will include sperm analysis and an examination of the sperm tubes. Whether neither of these reproductive tests reveals any problems, your doctor may advise you to look into your family history to see if any patterns have emerged.

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