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Genetics and It's Impact On Fertility

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genetics and fertility

Image 1

You can change habits, your lifestyle, etc. when it comes to increasing your chances at conception. But the one thing that is often not considered as an impediment to fertility has to be genetics. Your genes are something that have been passed on from one generation to another, either from your maternal or paternal lineage. Lower sperm count or egg count is often attributed to your genes rather than just lifestyle or your current medical status. Here is how genetics has an impact on your fertility rate-

Menopause

Menopause

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For women, the onset of menopause is the end of their fertile stage. However, for some women it tends to happen much earlier as compared to the other. Menopause is also linked to your reproductive biology. So even if you are living a healthy lifestyle, avoiding smoking, etc. you are still at a risk of earlier menopause.

Lower Sperm Count

lower sperm count

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In some men, the cause of lower sperm count or even count itself is attributed to their genes. Some men suffer from the problem of chromosome translocation where it is seen that chromosomes swap material. Such individuals are known to have a higher chance of infertility. In fact, this issue is known to have an adverse affect on their partners too who are more prone to miscarriage because of this swapping issue.

Y chromosome Infertility

Y chromosome infertility

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This is a condition, which is known for having an adverse impact on the production of sperm. As a result, it becomes difficult for a man to father a child. In some rare cases, there may be no sperm production at all due to azoospermia. While some men may have a smaller number of sperm cells, which is known as oligospermia. In most cases, one finds that the sperms are also moving at an abnormally slow pace or there is no movement at all. There are assisted technologies and medical solutions available for this issue. However, in some cases, men are affected to the extent when there is actually no mature sperm present in the testes. Referred to as Y chromosome infertility named Sertoli, this cell-only syndrome is often not treatable.

Ovarian Failure

overian failure

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This is a problem that is also associated with genes in women. Some girls are known to suffer from premature ovarian failure, which is also known as POF.  POF has been related to underlying genetic issues. Some genetic factors are responsible for carrying the Fragile X syndrome that is a chromosome issue related to infertility.

What can be done?

Genetics and fertility

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With advancement in medical science, there are alternatives available for treating this issue. In some cases, men are suggested to undergo active genetics treatment and medications that aid in treating an array of these problems. Women can undergo a genetic test for fertility where optimum solutions can be devised.  Recent studies associated with viable egg follicles present in the ovaries showcase positive results, which are known to treat the problems associated with genetic infertility. In some drastic conditions, IVF and other invasive procedures might be suggested to overcome this issue.

Image 1 - Fertility and genetics

Image 2 - ConceptionsFlorida

Image 3 - Medicalnewstoday

Image 4 - Y chromosome infertility

Image 5 - hyderabadendocrinology

Image 6 - Genetics and fertility

 

posted Mar 9, 2016 by William

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radiation therapy

Radiation is not really a choice when it comes to cancer treatments. Sometimes, it becomes mandatory to provide radiation therapy to ensure sustainability of the individual and constraint and restrict growth of the malignant cells. Unfortunately, for people who are trying to conceive, radiation may have other adverse affects on fertility. Here are some of them-

 

Genetic Effects

radiation and conception

Radiation is known to penetrate though the various layers of the cells and create a negative genetic impact on children of those exposed. In cases, where the eggs or even the sperm gets radiated, the effects of radiation passes on to animals, which is seen as per various tests.

Studies show that the risk of genetic effects on kids of the next generation does exist, even though it may be rather small. This was a study conducted on the patients exposed to radiation during the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings. 50 years post the attacks, it is seen that the risk of genetic abnormality followed by birth defects was extremely narrow. But though the risk is very little, it cannot be really ignored in the hereditary component of mutations.

 

Loss of Interest in Sex

loss of interest in sex

In most men, there has been a drastic decrease in interest in sex post radiation. This is considered as the after math of the radiation therapy. Some individuals also complain of pain during ejaculation or even trouble in having erections. However, in both cases, it is possible to overcome the same via medicines and therapy. The problem is temporary but it can be easily overcome.

 

Radiation Therapy Areas

therapy areas

For women, beam radiation therapy is rather common on the pelvis, hip, femur along with the bladder and prostate are exposed to radiation. However, an attempt is made to shield the same by the doctors. But in cases of high radiation to either testes or the ovaries, there is a very high risk of permanent sterility or even temporary one. However, in case no damage is caused to these areas during cancer, further risks are minimized.

So on the whole, though radiation poses a minimum amount of risks of infertility, the reason for the same is because of damage caused directly to the reproductive parts during the ordeal, not as a result of the after effect. In spite of temporary issues related to fertility, in the long run most patients are able to conceive naturally. It is essential to follow intensive treatment post the radiation and eat a healthy and nutritious diet. Combining this with a positive outlook, you should not face fertility issues.

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pollution and fertility

We have learnt to inhale the toxic air, eat the pesticide laden food and also let these chemicals seep through the layers of our skin over the years. Pollution is everywhere today. With industrial waste being dumped into oceans, toxins are now entering our system from the very lower layers of the eco-system and food chain.

But what has emerged probably too late is the impediment pollution is toward fertility.

How pollution affects fertility?

pollution affects fertility

As per the journal 'Environmental Health Perspectives’ pollution impacts us via chemicals like PCB orperchlorinated biphenyls. This is an industrial compound that is commonly used in pesticides too. Though the usage of the same has been stopped, it still remains to impact people. Research shows that it has reduced fertility rates in both men and women by 29%.

Male Infertility

Air pollution is researched to be the major cause of male infertility. In fact, research shows that male workers who tend to inhale higher levels of concentrated pollution are more prone to higher free radical levels in their body. In turn, their fertility rates, sperm quality, etc. are highly affected because of these chemicals.

Pregnancy and Miscarriage

pregnancy and fertility

Not only is conception an issue, but it has been seen that children born to pregnant women, who were exposed to higher pollution levels, have lower birth rates. A study revealed that about 9.1% infants were born below ideal birth rate. It also meant that premature birth rates increased due to pollution levels. 7.4% kids were born prematurely due to higher O3 or levels of ozone exposure in the air. Airborne particulate matter, which is commonly known as PM10 affects the fetus tremendously during the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) exposure is one of the worst things that can affect pregnant women.

Can being away help?

global issue pollution

Sadly being away from all kinds of environmental pollutants is really not possible. No matter how far you go, there is some sort of pollution affecting you be it air, water, noise or other sources of pollution. A study reveals that 2,500 women were reportedly had issues with fertility because of pollution. 11% women and men were at higher infertility risks when they lived within a 200-meter radius from across roadway constructions. So yes staying away from polluted areas helps, because even though it may have a small impact - pollution is affecting your life in a negative way.

 

A global issue

Instead of going down, pollution levels are only increasing drastically and it is now affected global health. In particular, countries like Brazil and China have reportedly see high smog periods that have resulted in poor fertility rates. In particular, areas with high population density are prone to concentrated pollution with more vehicles and automobiles being used for transportation means. Areas that are home to steel, coal and other industrial belts are more prone to such pollution exposure. The World Health Organisation(WHO) has been concerned over the negative impact of pollution on both men and women fertility along with risks of miscarriage.

Does pollution affect both men and women?

Yes, pollution is now a problem impacting both men and women. In fact, WHO has indicated that pollution is largely a global problem generating health concerns among children and adults.

What can be done?

defying pollution

Sadly, there is not much to do here except in making an honest and dedicated effort towards reducing pollution levels. It is something that humanity has to take a step towards. If not, then coming generations are going to be negatively impacted because of pollution in terms of fertility and healthier pregnancies too.

+2 votes

workplae and infertility

Be it a man or a woman, inherent factors that contribute towards fertility issues are often overseen - and one of these evils is the workplace. The physical, psychological and financial contribution of the workplace towards infertility is something that has been often overlooked. You can blame it all on other things like genetics, medication, pollution, etc. but this hidden impediment is rarely discussed.

Psychological Impact

psychological impact

There are tons of ways that you may be getting emotionally and psychologically affected at the workplace, which is leading to infertility issues. Here are some factors that contribute significantly-

Stress and anxiety

stress at work

You are worried about that Friday deadline and panicky about working the weekend to finish it. Stress and anxiety is the disastrous combination that workplace can cause. It attributes to several factors like rude boss, threat of losing job etc. And if it seems that everyone from your boss to colleagues hate you -then going to work everyday becomes a trauma.

Depression

depression

You didn't get that big bonus or much awaited hike - But your friend cum colleague did. And this leads to lack of confidence, feeling of dismay and eventually leads to depression. For both men and women, depression means emotional havoc. Women suffer from issues like irregular menstrual cycle while sperm quality and quantity is highly effected in men due to the same.

Peer Pressure

baby shower at workplace

Your colleague not only bagged that promotion but now they are expecting too. So there is a news of a baby shower and this simply takes a toll on you. The pressure to perform better wasn’t enough on the career front and now you are competing on the family front too. For men, it is no easier to see other colleagues become parents and constantly complaining about lack of sleep with their newborn, even as you are struggling for sleep because of fertility issues.

Physical Aspects

hazard at work

This includes the absolute work environment and conditions. Some workplaces are more hazardous than the others, especially if you are working in places where poisonous emissions, exposure to chemicals in labs, etc. exist. Other workplaces that are rather shoddy, ill-maintained and filled with unhygienic conditions are no better. But on the whole since you are here for around 8-10 hours a day, a healthy work environment, which is pleasant and visually appealing works as a mood enhancer.

Then there are always additional incentives like those dream workplaces with a moms room or nursery/ day care facilities. Recreational facilities, a cheerful coffee place, etc. sure cheer you up.

Financial Pressure

financial pressure

Let’s face it, not everyone goes to work with a happy face each day. Some people are compelled to work at a particular place just because the pay is better. Even though the nature of the job may be hazardous or you hate what you do. And in the totality of things, you are always in a daze whether to quit or not. If you quit you lose on savings for the baby. But what you don’t realise is that you are actually increasing the number of hindrances to fertility with these problems.

What can be done?

what you can do

You need to devise an action plan here to ensure that you enjoy what you do. So if the workplace makes you unhappy because of any of the above factors, consider making a switch. Yes it won’t be easy, but you will probably be appreciated somewhere and make a comfortable living.

  • If it is the boss or colleagues then you can consider talking to them about it. Sometimes, misunderstandings are cleared this way. Alternatives like changing jobs, taking a transfer or even quitting if things take turn for a worse.
  • Don’t suppress your feelings of not being able to conceive or hide these facts. Share it with your spouse or a friend.
  • In case of hazardous work environments, you should really try to make a switch because in the long run, your fertility rate could be affected.

Fertility is not something that is attributed to physical factors alone, your workplace like other things around you makes a significant contribution. So try being happier there, consider therapy if needed and take a break when you are over-tired.

+1 vote

A lot of people are prone to diabetes and it is usually based on lifestyle, poor food habits, etc. But genetics has a crucial role to play in diabetes too, especially type 2 diabetes, which is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. The overall understanding or the contribution of genetics towards diabetes depends on a majority of factors. Some of these are discussed below-

 

Genetic Mutations

 

Over the years scientists have linked gene mutations to risks of higher levels of diabetes. However, it doesn’t imply that everyone with genetic mutation would be prone to diabetes. But if you have one or more of the mutations it is possible that you are prone to diabetes. These mutations are not hereditary, but happen over time because of external and internal factors. 

 

Heredity and family links

family links

The next genetic factor that plays a crucial role here is family history. The genes from the parents are carried forward to their kids and that is why genetics has an impact on those who get diabetes. However, in case of medical history of the parents, there are more than just one genes to be blamed. For instance, someone who has very lazy and sedentary parents would likely be getting those genes from them. The same theory applies to their food habits and lifestyle. Obese parents tend to have obese kids because of the genetic factor. So diabetes is not really caused because of a gene in this case, it does lay the foundation of getting the disease. 

 

What research shows?

 

Researches were conducted on twins, which revealed that (to a certain extent) it was the combination of genes, with environmental factors, which caused diabetes and not genes alone. But some genetic mutations are highly to be blamed for being a hindrance in glucose regulation. Some of the genes responsible for diabetes are TCF7L2, that has a direct impact on the insulin secretion and glucose production. Then there is the ulfonylurea urea receptor (ABCC8) that aids in regulating insulin. Along with this, certain races are more prone to some genetic mutations. These include calpain 10 genes, which are found in many Mexican Americans who are diabetic. 

 

How to determine if you have those genes?

how to determine if i have those genes

Ideally there is no need to undergo strict processes or tests for these genes. You can check your-

 

    •    body mass index (BMI)

    •    family history

    •    high blood pressure

    •    elevated triglycerides and cholesterol levels

    •    history of gestational diabetes

The above-mentioned factors give you a clearer picture of you being prone to diabetes. Genetic impact is something that cannot really be changed. But what you can do here is focus on preventing the same. Opting for a healthier lifestyle that includes eating fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly and adapting a more active lifestyle is highly recommended here. With these lifestyle changes, you can reduce the impact of the genes and minimise your risks of getting diabetes.

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genes and heredity

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