How does CF affect the reproductive system?
Most males with CF have obstruction of the sperm canal known as congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD). This results from the abnormal electrolyte transport system in the cells, causing the secretions to become thick and lead to an obstruction and infertility. Women also have an increase in thick cervical mucus that may lead to a decrease in fertility, although many women with CF have children.
What are the symptoms of cystic fibrosis?
Symptoms for cystic fibrosis may include: • Abnormalities in the glands that
produce sweat and mucus • This may cause a loss of salt. A loss of salt may cause an upset in the balance of minerals in the blood, abnormal heart rhythms, and, possibly, shock. • Thick mucus that accumulates in the lungs and intestines • This may cause malnutrition, poor growth, frequent respiratory infections, breathing difficulties, and/or lung disease. • Other medical problems, such as: • Sinusitis • Nasal polyps • Clubbing of fingers and toes--a condition marked by the ends of the fingers and toes become enlarged; more prevalent in the fingers. • Pneumothorax--the presence of air or gas in the
pleural cavity causing the lung to collapse. • Hemoptysis--coughing blood. • Cor pulmonale--enlargement of right side of heart. • Abdominal pain • Gas in the intestines • Rectal prolapse • Liver disease • Diabetes • Pancreatitis • Gallstones • Congenital bilateral absence of the
vas deferens (CBAVD) in males The symptoms of CF differ for each person. Infants born with CF usually show symptoms by age two. Some children may not show symptoms until later in life. When infants have the following suspicious signs of CF, they should be tested for the disease: • Diarrhea that does not go away • Foul-smelling stools • Greasy stools • Frequent episodes of wheezing • Frequent episodes of pneumonia
or other lung infections • Persistent cough • Skin tastes like salt • Poor growth despite a good appetite The symptoms of cystic fibrosis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Therefore it’s always best to consult a physician for a diagnosis to be sure.