- Cystic fibrosis: What is it?
- Who does it affect?
- Why does my son have cystic fibrosis if my partner and I are healthy?
- Is it possible to have healthy children if I am a carrier of cystic fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis: What is it?
Cystic fibrosis is a serious genetic disease caused by mutations in the CFTR gene, which is present in our DNA. This disease affects the cells lining organs such as the respiratory airways, gastrointestinal tract and sweat glands by altering their secretions and making them produce sweat with a high salt content and abnormally viscous mucus.
These alterations can affect any internal organ, and they mainly do so in the respiratory tract, causing chronic bronchitis, and in the pancreas. Thus, this disease is often associated with respiratory symptoms and severe digestive problems. All this means that those affected by cystic fibrosis have a reduced life expectancy.
Who does it affect?
Cystic fibrosis, also known as mucoviscidosis, is a serious genetic disease that affects 1 in 5,000 births.
Why does my son have cystic fibrosis if my partner and I are healthy?
The genetic information of each of us depends on the genetic inheritance left by our parents. Thus, the genetic information from each of them is passed on.
In the case of a recessive genetic disease such as cystic fibrosis, the child only manifests the disease if both genes, received from both the father and mother, have that mutation which leads to the disease.
If your child is affected by cystic fibrosis, it means that you and your partner are healthy carriers of the disease. Thus, 1 in 4 children that you might have will be affected by the disease.
Is it possible to have healthy children if I am a carrier of cystic fibrosis?
Yes. Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis makes it possible to avoid the transmission of serious genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis to one’s children. It is a laboratory technique which, in an IVF cycle, enables the selection of healthy embryos from a couple. In this way, we can ensure that the embryos transferred to the mother are not affected by cystic fibrosis.
PGD is a safe technique that offers total reliability. Eugin carries it out in its laboratory with a highly specialised team and a well-honed technique thanks to its previous experience in hundreds of cases. Treatment can start without having to join waiting lists. As for the woman’s age, at Eugin we recommend that women proceed with IVF treatments using their one’s own eggs up to the age of 43 (from 44-46, only in particular cases and after medical assessment).