Vasectomy in Men with Genetic Traits or Diseases.

by Alex Shteynshlyuger MD


If you have any questions, to schedule a consultation or if you need a second opinion, please contact us or call (646) 663-5922


Disease Inheritance in Men and their Children

Genetic Disease in MenMen who have a diagnosed genetic trait or disease may be concerned about having biological children because of the risk of passing a genetic trait or disease to the offspring.  While other options are available such as sperm donation or adoption, it is important for men to fully understand their reproductive options.

Certain genetic traits may not be inheritable from a man to a child, or may not necessarily cause disease in offspring.  In addition, with modern reproductive technology, it may be possible to screen out sperm or fetuses and select sperm or fetuses that are not affected by a particular genetic defect.

Biology of inheritance and disease is fairly complex.  Different diseases are inherited differently.  Some require two copies of the gene (one from each parent – autosomal recessive) to cause disease, some require only one copy. Some diseases can only be passed from mother to children but not from father to children (mitochondrial diseases for example).  Some patients have the gene for the disease but no disease (variable penetrance).

Relatives with Disease: Are Your Children at Risk?

Men who are not affected by a particular disease but have affected relatives may or may not be at risk of passing the disease to their children.   In general the closer the relative (brother, mother, father), the higher the chance that you might share a gene but there are many factors at play.  We advise that you consult a genetic counselor about your particular situation.

Genetic Tests: Not What You Think They Are

It is also important to understand that many genetic tests do not test for the disease but only for increased risk or predisposition to a particular disease.   The absolute increased risk may be negligible. For example, if your risk for disease is 1 in 20,000; even if a particular gene variation (allele) increases your risk by a factor of 2, it is still a very rare risk of 1 in 10,000   Each genetic test is different, while some have very high predictive value for a disease, others are not very useful.

We advise that you consult a genetic counselor prior to deciding on your reproductive options.

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If you have any questions, to schedule a consultation or if you need a second opinion, please contact us or call (646) 663-5922

Dr. Alex Shteynshlyuger is a board-certified urologist in NYC. He specializes in sexual and reproductive issues that affect men.   He performs no-needle, no-scalpel vasectomy under local anesthesia avoiding the risks of general anesthesia. 


 

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