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Infertile Men May Pass an Infertility Gene Onto Their Sons

About 15 years ago, fertility specialists figured out how to extract sperm from individuals who had an unbelievably low sperm count in an effort to help them to become parents. This process is called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) - where they inject a single sperm into an egg to make an embryo outside a woman's body. The embryo is then placed in the mother's womb (known as in vitro fertilization, or IVF), and nine months later, a baby is born. This new technology is no doubt considered a miracle, but now there are concerns about whether infertility will be passed on to those children who are born with the help of ICSI and IVF.

As for the daughters, there appears to be fewer problems since female infertility usually stems from a physical issue, such as a blocked fallopian tube. The cause of male infertility, on the other hand, is not so clear cut; it could be genetic, making it possible that this new generation that scientists helped to create might actually be infertile too.

Right now, one out of every eight couples is affected by fertility issues, and 40 percent of the time, the problem lies with the man. Of the 52,000 babies that are born using IVF, between 8,000 to 9,000 of the babies' fathers had help through ICSI. Both ICSI and IVF are thought to be safe, but scientists say there just isn't enough information to be sure, and with concerns about creating an infertile generation, this issue definitely needs further exploration.


Join The Conversation
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
I was confused too. I agree with j2e1n9. It's natural selection and these men do not have desirable genes to pass on.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
my fiance and i have talked about kids and we think that he might have a problem with fertility but i think that he's a bit fearful to actually go see a dr about this. i think that it's amazing that we have medical technology that can help and really increase the rate of success to have kids - and if we can still learn more then that's the best thing. if there's a chance that we can avoid passing on our infertility issues to the next generation then that's something that i would be on the forefront to help fund since we all know that people will keep trying to have kids...
tglynn tglynn 8 years
this title doesn't make any sence ! lol
austerity austerity 8 years
aww...nature is mean :( lol, same here with the title!
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 8 years
So it kinda seems like natural selection to me then. The ones who arent supposed to pass their genes on arent technically able to.
kikidawn kikidawn 8 years
:drool: men with babies yeah lol I was confused by the title too ... then I read the story ;)
tyffi tyffi 8 years
The headline totally cracks me up! *lol* Regarding the actual article: well, I guess we have to wait and see until scientist can do more studies. And, then we'll see.
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 8 years
lol same here leenie
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
Haha, leenie, that is confusing at first! lol! :) About the actual article, I don't think we can really say anything until there are more studies, as usual, it's complicated.
leenie leenie 8 years
The title "Infertile Men May Pass an Infertility Gene Onto Their Sons" really confused me! I was wondering how can infertile men pass the gene onto their sons if they're infertile. Then I read the story. :)
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