Sisters And Infertility

While families often share the same hair, skin tone, nails, and a host of other features, thanks to genes. Do these shared traits include conditions like infertility? Infertility is the inability to conceive through natural means for more than a year. In vitro fertilization (IVF) continues to be the gold standard for treating the condition. Some patients believe the procedure is necessary if a sister or sibling uses IVF to conceive.

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Does it run in the family?

More than 6.7 million people have difficulty conceiving. With these statistics, some patients feel that infertility runs in the family. The short answer is no. No gene specifically governs infertility. A patient’s sister can need IVF, but the patient can conceive naturally and vice versa. Many variables impact a woman’s fertility. However, research has found certain conditions to be hereditary, affecting pregnancy.

Beware of PCOS

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) comes from an imbalance in the female reproductive hormones. The excess androgens can cause fluid-like cysts to develop on the ovaries. PCOS also impacts ovulation, making pregnancy difficult for millions of women. In addition, studies found that PCOS runs in the family, particularly among mothers and siblings.

Endometriosis may run in the family.

Endometriosis is a condition where the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus. Like PCOS, endometriosis is a hormonal-based condition. The effects of endometriosis are severe, causing scar tissue that disrupts the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Women with endometriosis often have a sister or family member with the condition.

Fibroids and infertility

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths of various sizes that develop within the uterus. These are sometimes known as uterine fibroids, uterine myomas, or leiomyomas. Fibroids can be asymptomatic but can cause infertility in some cases. Up to 80% of women experience at least 1 fibroid.

IVF is not a family affair

With infertility, each circumstance is different. If someone’s sister required IVF to conceive, this does not mean infertility is genetic. Various health, environmental, and lifestyle factors contribute to the condition. However, there are hereditary links with conditions like PCOS, endometriosis, and fibroids. These conditions are known to cause infertility. If a patient’s sister had IVF due to these conditions, the patient should consult a doctor before trying to conceive.

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