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Are Fertility Problems Hereditary?

Your family history can play a role in your ability to conceive although most infertility risk factors are not hereditary, states ob-gyn Joseph Garza, a reproductive endocrinologist at the Institute for Women's Health in Texas. "Although many cases are caused by physical defects in the male and female reproductive tracts or from previous bacterial or viral infections, there is very little research exploring the role that genetics play in fertility," he explains. Tell your doctor if you have a family history of hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism or diabetes, or if your mother suffered multiple miscarriages or was given the drug diethylstilbestrol, or DES, Garza advises, as these can in fact affect fertility.

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