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How Cystic Fibrosis Affects the Reproductive System - Topic Overview

In men, cystic fibrosis may affect the development of the vas deferens, which is the tube that carries sperm. The tube can also become blocked with mucus. Sperm are still made, but they are not released during ejaculation. This results in an inability to father children (infertility).

Although cystic fibrosis does not affect the development of the reproductive organs in women, thick mucus makes fertilization of the egg difficult. But most women who have this disease can become pregnant. Before a woman who has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis becomes pregnant, she should discuss with her doctor the risks, what to expect, and other issues. Many women who have cystic fibrosis have successful pregnancies, but they need close monitoring because of their nutritional status and the extra strain on their lungs.

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Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a disease that changes how your body makes mucus and sweat. It affects how well your lungs, digestive system, and some other body parts work. It’s caused by a flawed gene. If you have cystic fibrosis, you may have mucus that’s too thick or sweat that’s too salty. If heavy mucus clogs your lungs, it’s hard to breathe. It can also block your pancreas, an organ in your belly, so you can’t digest your food as well. The disease may make you sweat away too much of the salt your...

Read the Cystic Fibrosis article > >

If you have cystic fibrosis and are thinking about getting pregnant, be sure to talk openly with your doctor about it. You may also want to consider genetic testing for you and your partner, to find out your chances of having a child with cystic fibrosis.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: July 18, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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