Minus/plus icon
ResourcesExplore the full ACKO experience and make the most of your plan

Home / Health Insurance / Articles / Fertility / Conception / Role Of Genetics In Infertility: What Do We Know So Far

Role Of Genetics In Infertility: What Do We Know So Far

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

Pregnancy seems such a natural, regular phenomenon, doesn’t it? However, the act of conception sometimes can be difficult. Getting pregnant involves several physical functions and requires bodily systems being in healthy condition in both the male and the female, in the proper sequence and at the right time.



What really is Infertility?

Infertility is essentially defined as not having conceived after 12 months of having sex on a regular basis with no contraception. It affects approximately 1 in 8 couples. There may be several causes, including inaccurate timing of intercourse, weight issues, or problems with the reproductive organs.

The main causes of inability to achieve pregnancy can be categorized into:

• Medical Issues

• Lifestyle Factors 

• Genetics

As yet, there is no direct solution to rectify genetic problems, but it is possible to work around them. Let’s take a closer look at the primary role of genetics in infertility.

Genetics & Infertility

Recent research shows that approximately 50 percent of infertility cases are caused by genetic issues. Family history has a direct influence when it comes to certain conditions that may result in infertility. Scientists are still attempting to discover other ways in which genetics can affect fertility problems.

Here’s what we know so far on how your genes may or may not come into play while trying for a pregnancy.

Chromosomal Abnormalities and Genetic Diseases

Genetic and chromosomal abnormalities are a principle cause of why many people are not able to conceive or complete a pregnancy successfully to term. It means that some individuals have inherited a condition that may either inhibit sperm cell development or make it extremely difficult for an embryo to implant successfully or develop normally in the uterus.

Sperm Count and Quality

Genetics may possibly affect the quality and quantity of sperm. The majority of minor sperm issues are a result of environmental and lifestyle factors. There are some serious genetic abnormalities in males that can lead to considerably low sperm counts or lack of sperm production. These genetic disorders may be inheritable. Occasionally, however, these severe sperm abnormalities could cause complete infertility and, therefore, will not be passed down to future generations solely by intercourse alone.

Fibroids and Endometriosis

Endometriosis and fibroids may be another reason for infertility, and among other causes, may be caused by genetics.

Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition where the lining of the uterus grows outside the womb. 40 to 50 percent of women with endometriosis typically have issues with infertility. Fibroids are small benign tumours that grow on the inside of the uterine cavity and prevent an embryo from attaching.

According to scientists, there are multiple genes involved, so it is difficult to identify the exact genetic cause. In general, there is an increased risk if one has first-degree family members with endometriosis or fibroids.

The Typical Age of Menopause in the Family

The speed and age at which eggs decline have a correlation to genetics. Scientists believe that a woman is most likely to experience menopause around the same age that her mother did.

There is a basic genetic control over how many eggs a woman is born with and how rapidly those eggs are exhausted. If one has a family member who experienced menopause at an earlier age, then she would be at a higher risk of experiencing the same early loss of reproductive potential.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is defined as a hormonal imbalance causing cysts and irregular periods. It is one of the most common causes of infertility and is heavily influenced by genetics, among other causes. Research shows that 30 to 40 percent of siblings may have similar hormonal changes or problems consistent with PCOS.

We still have much to learn when it comes to genetics and infertility. Some scientists suspect several cases may be related to behaviour and lifestyle factors, like nutrition, weight, exercise and stress. Others believe that most medical conditions that can lead to trouble conceiving or to infertility may have an underlying genetic predisposition that enhances the likelihood of their occurrence.

Hopefully, there will be a time when we fully identify and comprehend the genetic patterns and combinations in all people who experience infertility. Till then, if you have any of the above conditions, or are experiencing unusual symptoms or missed periods, go ahead and get the proper examinations and available treatment right away if you are planning to get pregnant!

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



Want to post any comments?


Maximize your advantages with our government scheme-inclusive health insurance plans.

✅ 100% Room Rent Covered* ✅ Zero deductions at claims ✅ 7100+ Cashless Hospitals

quote icon

Check health insurance

quote icon