Genetic Causes of Infertility

Genetic causes are usually found when the woman has recurrent miscarriages. They are also found in couples who are unable to achieve a pregnancy at all but this is much less common.

Obviously there are no treatments for a genetic abnormality per se. However, if the husband has the problem, donor insemination is available. If the wife has the problem, donor eggs are the only effective treatment.

There are some genetic problems that are minor enough that they constitute only a relative obstacle to having a normal child. Such problems, called balanced translocations, do not affect the health of the person who has it but it does affect their ability to form a normal sperm or egg. However, if it is only a minor defect in the genetic material, the couple may still be able to have a normal child but may have to endure numerous miscarriages to achieve that goal.

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