Is Fertility Hereditary?

When dealing with infertility one may wonder if it is genetic, or passed down from mother to daughter. According to this article, there is no definite evidence that supports this theory. However, there are conditions that may complicate or interfere with a woman’s ability to conceive that are considered potentially genetic.

One condition is called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which has been linked to infertility and is often common in family members. In fact, according to the article,if a close family member has PCOS there is a 50 percent chance for one to also have it. If a woman is diagnosed with PCOS it is not a definite no to her ability to conceive. While it makes it harder to become pregnant when a woman has PCOS, it is not impossible.

Another condition, similar in how it affects conception, is Endometriosis. Again, woman who have an immediate family member with this condition are more likely to be diagnosed with it. Studies show there is a small genetic link as it relates to PCOS and Endometriosis. There is more work to be done in this area to understand exactly what genes lead to PCOS and Endometriosis.

Early menopause, however, has been shown to be passed on from mother to daughter. Every woman has so many eggs available from the time she is still being developed in the womb. Some have more than others. Those with fewer eggs, are likely daughters of woman who entered menopause at an earlier age. Fewer eggs can affect the ability to conceive, especially if the woman waits until she is older to try to get pregnant. While a woman can experience a potentially higher difficulty of conceiving if immediate family members have had difficulties as well, studies have yet to connect the dots to complete the picture on how genes actually affect a woman’s chances of conceiving.

Key Points:

  • 1No specific Gene has been identified as the cause of PCOS. Studies suggest it is hereditary.
  • 2Endometriosis impacts one out of ten woman. This is a serious hindrance to fertility.
  • 3It is a myth that there is an infertility Gene. Some conditions that impact fertility appear to be hereditary but no one Gene causes infertility.

Women’s eggs decline in quality and number as they age, which affects fertility, and there’s evidence to suggest that the speed of this decline may be genetic.

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