Is infertility a hereditary issue?

April 12, 2018

Infertility is the inability to conceive. Nowadays, many couples are facing the problem of not being able to have a child. And that might make many question the fact, that can we anyhow or anywhere blame the genes for it? Can we relate infertility to being hereditary? Well, there is mixed opinion about this. Some doctors say that infertility has got no relation to being hereditary.   While others argue that somewhere it has got a connection to the genes.

Research shows that some women are unable to conceive due to genetic factors. It might be due to an inherited chromosome abnormality.  Also, if in your family there has been a tendency in women of early menopause, endometriosis or any other factor, you might as well be at the risk of it. Depending on the cause of infertility it can be determined if it is hereditary or not. Let us explore some causes and see if it is genetic or not.

•    Endometriosis: If this is the cause of infertility, it might be genetic. And unfortunately, it is one of the most common causes of infertility. In endometriosis, uterine tissue is found outside of the uterus. Sometimes, this can be fixed through surgery, sometimes it cannot be treated. But it is rare that this can be passed onto generations ahead.

•    Poor egg quality: This is generally not considered as hereditary. Just because a woman’s egg is of low quality, it does not mean that same will be applied to the daughters as well.

•    Ovulation Problem: This again is one of the most common reasons for being infertile. Now, this may be hereditary or may not be hereditary. This problem itself has so many causes that it is hard to tell that if it has been caused due to genes or not.

•    Male infertility problems: Male infertility issues include low sperm count or poor sperm mobility and these are generally not hereditary. More than genes, lifestyle factors or environmental factors can be blamed for male infertility issues.

•    Chromosome abnormalities: Embryos which have chromosomal abnormalities have a low rate of implantation in the mother’s uterus. This often leads to miscarriages. Even if the embryo does implant, it may as well result in miscarriage. There are several kinds of chromosome abnormalities:

Deletion: A missing piece of chromosome

Inversion: An upside-down chromosome

Mutation: Change in gene’s DNA

Translocation: Chromosome pieces attached to the wrong chromosome Translocation is one of the most common chromosomal abnormalities.


So, depending upon the cause of infertility it might be determined if it is genetical or not. But in general, one cannot conclude that infertility is genetical or is not genetical.

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