Monday, August 4, 2008

Myth #3: Men with CF are Sterile

Fact: Men with CF are not sterile. 2% of men with CF can father children naturally without the assistance of an IVF (in vitro fertilization) clinic. In the remaining 98% of men with CF, congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD) is a relatively frequent cause of male infertility.

It is important to note that men with CBAVD are not, as was previously believed, sterile. They produce sperm except the sperm have nowhere to go because the pathway to release them (i.e., the vas deferens) is absent. These sperm ducts are not blocked with mucus; they are completely absent.

CBAVD may not necessarily be a sign of CF, but rather, is a co-occurring disease in patients with more mild mutations of the CF gene. Some of the less common mutations of the CF gene can also result in CBAVD.

Men with CF who have CBAVD can still father children. Family planning options that use their sperm rely on assisted reproductive technology (ART).

Fertility clinics specializing in a process called MESA (micro-surgical epididymal sperm aspiration) can assist a couple who wish to have children naturally. The MESA process is performed in conjunction with two other procedures in which the sperm are injected directly into an egg. The first is called ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). Once fertilization has taken place, the embryo is then inserted into the womb.


For more information about family planning when cystic fibrosis is a concern, please visit the following site:

FAQs About CF and Family Planning

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Thanks for that post! I have always been irritated by sites that use "sterile."