Long term relationships, pregnancy and parenthood have become exciting realities for many individuals with cystic fibrosis. Unique challenges remain, but thanks to advances in reproductive technologies, an increasing number of people with cystic fibrosis are able to conceive and start a family.
Women with cystic fibrosis are often able to conceive naturally. However, it may take longer to become pregnant because it is believed that thicker vaginal mucus makes it more difficult for sperm to travel and fertilize the egg.
Men with cystic fibrosis can have normal sexual relations, but are usually infertile. In most men with cystic fibrosis, sperm is produced normally but the vas deferens (the tube connecting the testis to the ejaculatory duct) is blocked or absent, preventing sperm from reaching their destination. For these men, conception can be achieved through assisted reproductive technologies.
Ask your CF clinic team for a referral to a genetic counsellor to discuss family planning. The following resources provides additional information about sexuality and fertility:
- Sexuality, Fertility and Cystic Fibrosis for Adults
- Cystic Fibrosis Canada poster
- Webinar: Cystic Fibrosis and Female Fertility