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Myth #3: Men with CF are Sterile

Posted Aug 04 2008 11:06pm 1 Comment
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.

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

Comments (1)
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I guess I am very confussed. If 98 % of males with CF can not father children how can you say they are not sterile. Be very careful with your answer because I am part of that 98%. And does the 2% that have family (children) have they done a DNA work up to make sure in fact the person with CF is the father. This was told to me about the 2% back before DNA was popular. When my Dr. told me this, I laughed and ask him if the milkman had any extended stays, during his deliverys?
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