CYSTIC FIBROSIS AND YOUR POTENTIAL FOR REPRODUCTION
MARCH 28, 2019 @ 3.28 PM
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disorder that affects the cells that produce mucus, sweat and digestive juices. Thus, secretions become sticky and thick and block plug tubes, ducts and passageways especially in the lungs and pancreas.
Dr Premitha Damodaran, Obstetrician & Gynaecologist consultant, Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur explained that because of this thicker secretion, women with CF may find it a little more difficult to get pregnant.
"The thicker mucus makes it harder for sperm to successfully penetrate as it travels up the uterus to the tube for fertilisation. Despite this many CF patients get pregnant successfully.
“Poor nutrition and health may affect their ovulation again making it difficult to get pregnant. Thus, many patients with CF may opt for fertility treatment or carry out specialised IVF procedures such as pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to take away the risk of CF in their children,” she said.
Once pregnant, a woman with CF can have a healthy pregnancy. However, the complications she can experience are:
• Lung complications: breathlessness and infection with an increased need for medication such as bronchodilators and antibiotics.
• Gestational diabetes which can happen during pregnancy due to the pancreatic insufficiency. This may involve further medication and insulin.
• High blood pressure is common.
• Nutritional deficiency which becomes more pronounced when pregnant. She would need essential vitamins and supplements.
• Premature delivery can happen due to baby having growth restriction problems, high blood pressure, diabetes and mother's health deterioration.
• Other complications such as constipation and recurrent fungal infection.
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