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Women with cystic fibrosis can have safe and successful fertility treatment
Date:6/30/2009

Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Women with cystic fibrosis can have fertility treatment to help them have babies without any long-term adverse effects on either themselves or their children, according to new research presented at the 25th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Amsterdam today (Tuesday).

Until relatively recently, cystic fibrosis (CF) was a death sentence and most people with the disease died by the time they reached their teenage years. Now, this is no longer the case, and, thanks to better treatment of the condition, people live far longer and want to start their own families. But women with CF face a problem in addition to the effects of pregnancy on their health: CF itself can make them infertile.

In the first, long-running study to investigate and evaluate systematically the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in a group of infertile women with CF, researchers based at the Hpital Cochin Saint Vincent de Paul in Paris (France) looked at 24 women between 1998 and 2008. After assessing their health, three women were discouraged from undergoing fertility treatment for medical reasons and six are still being assessed. However, the remaining 15 women all received fertility treatment.

Dr Sylvie Epelboin, a gynaecologist, obstetrician and co-ordinator of the Paris-based ART-CF disease network, who led the research, said: "Women with cystic fibrosis often have thick cervical mucus preventing them from becoming pregnant naturally. However, a pregnancy can be achieved by the use of intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Fertility treatment has to depend on the woman's pulmonary and nutritional status, and there are ethical concerns about the welfare of the child whose mother might become severely ill, have to receive a lung transplant or die."

All 15 women had partners without the CF gene mutation and, apart from failing to conceive, other indic
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary@mrcommunication.org
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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