The Biology of Male Reproduction and CF
To understand the inner workings of infertility in men with cystic fibrosis, it is helpful to first understand the biology of the male reproductive system. It has three primary parts: the testicles, the
Most men with CF (97 to 98%) are infertile because of an absence of the sperm canal, known as congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (
The Difference Between Infertility and Sterility
This distinction between infertility and sterility is key to understanding the effects of CF on male reproduction. Even though the vas deferens is missing, the sperm are not. In fact, sperm production in the testicles is normal in 90 percent of men with CF and CBAVD, meaning that most men with CF can still have biological children through assisted reproductive technology (ART). Your doctor should be able to give you a referral to a
Although the cause of CBAVD is not conclusively known, it is thought to be associated with cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (
Even though most men with CF are infertile, some do still have sperm present in their ejaculate. If your infertility has not been confirmed by medical tests, you should be sure to use contraception to prevent the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy.
Another condition that men with CF may experience, although it is rare, is a type of infection known as male candidiasis. It may display symptoms such as sores on the penis, irritation, and itching.