When I was growing up my mother never talked about infertility problems – most moms that I knew never talked about sex or sexual matters and fertility would fall into that category. As I grew up things changed. Men started talking more about their part in infertility and women started talking about sex more with both men and women. It felt like the world opened up, so when I decided to start a family and I faced infertility I asked my mom if she suffered the same problems. Come to find out my mom did have trouble conceiving – for four years. She tried to have a child after I was born and she could not conceive, but could I blame genetics for my fertility problems?
Genetics and Infertility
Genetics can play a part in fertility, but not directly per se. If your mom had trouble conceiving for a year or more and she was diagnosed with a physical problem that caused the infertility, that physical problem may not be passed on from one generation to another. For instance, if there was a horse riding accident when she was little or if she was born with narrow fallopian tubes with no known genetic cause, there is a good chance you won’t suffer the same condition.
However, if there is a genetic problem with chromosomes that affect conception like Turner syndrome or Klinefelter syndrome, those conditions may be passed from parent to child – but the parent may not have an active version of the condition. Other genetic conditions that may affect your fertility include cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia.
If your mom was infertile, she may not pass along that infertility to you, but she could pass along genetic problems that may affect your fertility. The connection between your fertility problems and those your mother may have faced are not likely connected.