Cystic Fibrosis and the Reproductive System
How does CF affect the reproductive system?Children with CF have an abnormality in the function of a cell protein called the cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR). CFTR controls the flow of water and certain salts in and out of the body's cells. As the movement of salt and water in and out of cells is altered, mucus becomes thickened.
In the reproductive system, the thickened secretions can cause obstructions and affect the development and function of the sexual organs.
Most males with CF have obstruction of the sperm canal known as congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD). Women also have an increase in thick cervical mucus that may lead to a decrease in fertility.
Symptoms that may be present due to the effects of CF on the reproductive system include the following:
- delayed sexual development
- absence or stopping of menstruation
- irregular menstrual periods
- inflammation of the cervix
- infertility or sterility
The information on this Web page is provided for educational purposes. You understand and agree that this information is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. You agree that Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital is not making a diagnosis of your condition or a recommendation about the course of treatment for your particular circumstances through the use of this Web page. You agree to be solely responsible for your use of this Web page and the information contained on this page. Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital, its officers, directors, employees, agents, and information providers shall not be liable for any damages you may suffer or cause through your use of this page even if advised of the possibility of such damages.