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Genetic disorders that impact male fertility

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Sep 17, 2023 02:17 PM IST

Health experts highlight some genetic disorders that can affect male fertility

Genetics is a major factor determining sperm production, sperm function and structure of the reproductive organs and they can directly affect the ability of males to conceive and their overall health. Having a baby is a special dream for many but sometimes, genetics can play a role that makes it a bit more challenging since genetic disorders have a significant impact on male fertility, affecting the ability to have children.

Genetic disorders that impact male fertility (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Vandana Ramanathan, Consultant - Reproductive Medicine at Milann Fertility and Birthing Hospital in Bengaluru's Whitefield, highlighted some genetic disorders that can affect male fertility:

  1. Cystic fibrosis- This genetic disorder affects various organs including the reproductive organ. The disorder results in absence or obstructed vas deferens, the tube that carries sperm from the testes to the urethra.
  2. Azoospermia- it means absence of sperms in the ejaculate. It can be due to obstruction in the transport of the sperms from the testis to the urethra, or due to inability of the testis to produce sperms.

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She shared, “Men with azoospermia or severe oligospermia have a greater risk of a genetic abnormality than men who are infertile for other reasons. Other genetic disorders that impact male infertility include Klinefelter syndrome, Y Chromosome Microdeletions, Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), Spermatogenic Failure Syndromes, etc.”

She added, “Recent advancements in genetic testing and assisted reproductive technologies have opened doors and given hope to those grappling with infertility linked to genetic disorders. If concerns about male fertility arise, consulting a medical specialist with expertise in reproductive genetics becomes pivotal. Such experts can play a crucial role in diagnosing underlying genetic factors and charting a path toward appropriate treatment options.”

Bringing her expertise to the same, Dt Renuka Bachhav, Sports Nutritionist at Hyugalife, revealed how these gene issues can affect men from becoming a dad -

  • Genes and Having Babies: Genes, like tiny instruction books inside our bodies, can sometimes create problems when it comes to making babies. They can make it tough for a man's body to do its part in creating a baby.
  • Sperm Struggles: Genetic issues can cause problems with the little things that help make babies, known as sperm. It's like these genetic mix-ups can make the sperm not work as well as they should.
  • Different Issues, One Result: There are different types of gene problems. Some make it hard for the body to produce good sperm, while others create roadblocks that prevent sperm from reaching where they need to go.
  • Finding the Issue: Doctors have special tests that can look closely at genes to see which one is causing the problem & create a plan that might involve using special methods to bring the sperm and egg together, increasing the chances of making a baby.

She concluded, “Gene problems might make things tricky but doctors are working on ways to help. Understanding how genes affect men from becoming a dad gives hope and shows that there are ways to make the dream of having a family come true.”

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