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Fertility in males with cystic fibrosis

Males with cystic fibrosis can make sperm normally.

Potential fertility problems for males with cystic fibrosis

The problem in most males (about 98%) with cystic fibrosis is that the tube which carries the sperm is blocked or not there. This does not affect the ability to have erections and sexual intercourse, but in most cases males with cystic fibrosis need some help to become parents.

As well as this, there is a fluid made in some glands inside the tummy. These glands sometimes don’t work properly or they are not there. This means that males with cystic fibrosis have a lower semen volume when they ejaculate (less than 1.5mls) compared to males without cystic fibrosis who ejaculate 3.5mls.

The reduced amount of semen means that males with cystic fibrosis might not experience ‘wet dreams’. Wet dreams are when you ejaculate in your sleep. It happens without you knowing about it. You may notice that your pyjamas, underpants or bed sheets feel sticky when you wake up. This is nothing to worry about. All males have wet dreams at some time.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

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