Healthy Living

How Cystic Fibrosis Affects Fertility

Female reproduction and cystic fibrosis

Female reproduction and cystic fibrosis

Women with cystic fibrosis tend to have fertility issues. When mice with cystic fibrosis have been studied, the female mice have had reduced fertility. Signs of this typically include a smaller uterus and ovaries as well as disrupted ovulation.

This applies to human women. Often this is a side effect of the symptoms of the disease. Cystic fibrosis can cause low body weight due to causing poor lung function and poor nutrition, which can interfere with healthy development of young women, delaying puberty.

The same lack of nutrition and poor lung function can also disrupt normal ovulation in adult women. This can lead to irregular periods, or even a complete absence of menstruation.

Also, the medications used to combat cystic fibrosis can contribute to female infertility. Antibiotics and corticosteroids can disrupt healthy vaginal flora and lead to fungal infections.

These symptoms of infertility can be treated. The infections can be fought using creams or oral medication, and other treatments are available for the issues with the estrous cycle.