Will my baby have cystic fibrosis if I use donor sperm?

  1.  Sally**

    Hello there!

    I’m a single woman and I’ve decided to become a single mom… The problem is I have family history of cystic fibrosis (CF) and I’m a carrier of this disease, and that’s the reason why I’m concerned, because I don’t want my baby to have this disease, you know… But since I’m going to use donor sperm, I wonder whether the chances of my baby having CF diminish greatly or if conversely they remain the same, in which case I would reconsider my decision of having a baby 🙁 I want to start with donor insemination, and then see what happens…

    Thanks a lot

    October 31, 2015 at 12:09 pm
  2. Sandra F. Sandra F.
    Fertility counselor

    Dear Sally**,

    Cystic fibrosis is a recessive genetic abnormality caused by a mutation in the CFTR gene; therefore, there must be two mutated copies of the CFTR gene for this disease to develop in a human being. Sperm donors must undergo a thorough genetic screening in order to qualify as donors, which means that no donor will be accepted if he’s a carrier of CF.

    Among the many genetic screening testing that prospective sperm donors must undergo we can mention a genetic analysis of those genetic disorders presenting higher incidence rates among the world’s population. And CF is included in this group. Besides, especial attention will be paid in your particular case, given that you are aware that you already have a mutated copy. Thus, when performing the genetic screening to your potential donor, the results will be 100% reliable as they will focus on analyzing the presence of this disease in your donor.

    That said, In reply to your consultation I can say that your baby won’t suffer from CF, but he/she will have a 50% probability of being a carrier of one mutated copy, just like you; and another 50% likelihood of both copies being normal.

    Hope this helps

    November 3, 2015 at 3:25 pm
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