Both Maternal AND Paternal Causes of Infertility

Have you had multiple miscarriages? Multiple miscarriages has been defined by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) as ‘having had two or more miscarriages’. ACOG also recommends further testing if someone has had three or more miscarriages. In some cases, there can be an underlying genetic explanation for this, including:  

  • A chromosome translocation, or rearrangement of genetic material, within the cells of one or both parents.
  • A thrombophilia, or when someone’s blood clots too much and too soon.
  • Parents being carriers for the same genetic condition, such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell disease.
  • Conditions that may be carried on the X chromosome and lead to multiple losses of male fetuses.

Has it recently been determined that you, as a couple, have an increased risk to have a child with a genetic condition? Couples that have an increased risk to have a child with a genetic condition often have the option of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), or testing embryos prior to implantation during the in vitro fertilization process (IVF) for various types of genetic conditions. Some of the main categories of these conditions are:

  • Autosomal recessive conditions, such as cystic fibrosis or spinal muscular atrophy.
  • Autosomal dominant conditions, such as Huntington’s disease or Marfan syndrome.
  • X-linked conditions, such as fragile X syndrome or Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
  • Chromosome translocations or rearrangements (when pieces of two different chromosomes break off and switch spots with each other).

*** It is also important for couples who are at increased risk to have a child with a hereditary condition to know about alternative options, such as donor sperm, donor eggs, or donor embryos, in order to ensure they can move forward with the best option for them.


Last updated on Mar 29th, 2018