Fertility in men with cystic fibrosis

A little baby

Although men who have cystic fibrosis can enjoy a normal sex life, about 98% are infertile because the vas deferens, the tube that carries sperm from the testis to the penis, does not develop properly.

If you have fertility problems you can try a specialised form of IVF called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). In this technique a sperm is collected from the epididymis and injected into your partner’s egg.

A small minority of men with cystic fibrosis (two to three per cent) are fertile, particularly those with the 3849-10kb C-T mutation.

Fertility in women with cystic fibrosis
Although most children with cystic fibrosis achieve normal or near-normal growth, puberty and the onset of periods is often delayed by one or two years.

Most girls with cystic fibrosis have normal menstrual cycles, but there is a higher chance of missed or irregular periods and amenorrhoea (the absence of menstrual periods in a woman of reproductive age). This is most likely to happen if you have a reduced percentage of body fat.

The majority of women who have cystic fibrosis can become pregnant without any difficulty. Female fertility problems in cystic fibrosis are tackled in the same way as for other women.

If you are a woman with cystic fibrosis and considering trying for a baby you should consult your CF specialist, who will arrange for genetic and obstetric advice, and check that your prescribed treatment is safe in pregnancy.

Read more about fertility and cystic fibrosis.

The Planning for Parenthood website was designed for people with cystic fibrosis who are planning to start a family. The site contains a wealth of information to help explore all the issues.