Read more information about female reproduction.
Most women with cystic fibrosis (CF) can naturally conceive and a carry a baby to full term.
For females with CF, the onset of menstruation is often delayed by one or two years. Many go on to have irregular periods for the rest of their lives, which is most likely because of a lower percentage of body fat.
Irregular periods can sometimes lead to troubles in fertility, and sometimes the amount of cervical mucus needed to implant a fertilised egg is altered affecting fertility. All of these possible complications are tackled in the same way as for other women without CF.
If you are trying for a baby, it’s a good idea to check in with your CF team. They’ll be able to arrange for specialist assistance with conception if needed, but they will also help you plan to keep your lung health and weight in the best condition for pregnancy.
A healthy body is important for all women during pregnancy. Good nutrition with the right amount of minerals and vitamins is important for the healthy development of the baby.
For women with CF this is even more important because of their decreased ability to absorb the right balance of nutrients. Your CF team will support you through pregnancy, helping you plan to increase your kilojoule intake and maintain a healthy weight to support you and your baby.
Your CF team will also review your medication; the first trimester of pregnancy is critical for foetal development, and some drugs can affect that development.
Stable lung function isn’t impacted long term by pregnancy, but sometimes lung function will decrease during pregnancy. This is because the baby takes up space in the chest cavity as it grows. Once baby is born, lung function usually returns to pre-pregnancy levels.
ART is used if couples are experiencing difficulties conceiving. Some of the most common are:
Cystic Fibrosis Canada have created this factsheet on sexuality and fertility.