Cystic fibrosis of the pancreas is the most common fatal genetic inheritance disorder in young Canadians, affecting primarily the lungs and digestive system. More than 3,000 people have the disease in Canada, and about 1 in 25 Canadians have a defective version of the gene responsible for FKP. Every year in Canada, one in 3,300 newborns * is diagnosed with this disease.
FKP causes a build-up of thick mucus in the lungs, resulting in serious breathing problems. In addition, the accumulation of mucus and protein in the digestive tract makes digestion extremely difficult and impairs the absorption of nutrients. It is the pulmonary effects of FKP that are the most devastating.
Fertility and Cystic Fibrosis of the Pancreas
Since FKP has an effect on the viscosity of secretions, fertility can also be compromised. In women with FKP, the fluidity of vaginal secretions varies, because the mucus is often thicker. This complicates the passage of spermatozoa and makes fertilization more difficult.
In man, in the majority of cases, FKP unfortunately leads to infertility (and not sterility). Sperm formation is normal, but the problem is in the testis, because of the blockage or absence of the vas deferens, which makes it impossible for the sperm to pass.
A test to know
A genetic screening test helps determine your carrier status. Currently, only people who already have a known case in their family or whose partner is a known carrier may be screened as part of the Canadian public health system. However, it is possible to pass this genetic screening test in Procréa Fertility to know its carrier status.
*SOGC, 2002, Le dépistage des porteuses de fibrose kystique durant la grossesse au Canada