Infertility & Genetics

Does infertility have a genetic connection? Can you inherit infertility from your parents or pass it down to your kids? What types of infertility are genetic and what can you do to find out? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Dr. Piraye Yurttas Beim andDr. Alan Copperman. Dr. Piraye Yurttas Beim is founder of Celmatix, a women’s health company using genomics and big data to help women and their doctors make more informed, proactive reproductive health decisions. She is also a Fellow of the Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellowship program, was named to Crain’s 40 Under 40 list, and was included as one of the Top 15 founders disrupting their industries by Fortune. Dr. Alan Copperman is managing partner at RMA of NY and Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility as well as the Vice-Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Copperman has been named to New York magazine’s list of Best Doctors sixteen years in a row.

Hit the Highlights
  • Is it possible to say what percentage of infertility is hereditary?
  • What medical conditions that can cause infertility in women have a genetic base?
  • What medical conditions that can cause infertility in men have a genetic base?
  • Other than known medical conditions that have a genetic connection, what other causes for infertility might be genetic? (male and female)
  • Chromosomal translocations can be a genetic cause of infertility, but is this something that just happens spontaneously, or is it passed down from parent to children?
  • Klinefelter syndrome and the subsequent infertility phenotype caused by it are specific to males
  • If your mother was infertile, do you stand a higher chance of being infertile?
  • Jennifer: When does it make sense to do karyotype testing? If you have unexplained infertility and have already done CarrierMap testing should you also do a karyotype test?
  • Other than having an answer, is there a treatment advantage to knowing that your unexplained infertility has a genetic cause?
  • Hypothetical: I was diagnosed with POF [premature ovarian failure] when I was 29. We went on to have 2 kids: one by adoption and one by egg donor. I have two sisters who are much younger than me. They have a different dad, but we have the same mother. Do they need to be worried about having POF?
  • Is there a genetic connection to recurrent pregnancy loss or multiple miscarriages?
  • ICSI has revolutionized the treatment for male infertility. Has it however, increased the likelihood that the sons of couples who used ICSI are more likely to be infertility? Are we making it easier to pass on genetic abnormalities to the next generation?
  • Hypothetical: I have suffered from infertility for many years. I was finally able to get pregnant and now have 11 year old boy/girl twins. I may be overreacting, but I wonder if I should have my children (both of them) tested to see if they have inherited our infertility. I think I would have liked to know this information when I was a teen because I may have made different decisions.
  • What do we know about epigenetics now? How much does the woman carrying the baby influence the baby even if she’s not the genetic Mom?
  • How can women and men find out in advance if they may have a greater risk for infertility because of their genes?
  • Celmatix partnership with 23&Me. What do you hope to find?

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Image credit: thekirbster