Genetic aspects of female reproduction

Pier Giorgio Crosignani, J. Collins, K. Diedrich, S. Franks, J. P M Geraedts, P. A. Jacobs, B. Karges, S. Kennedy, A. Marozzi, L. Regan, D. T. Baird, P. Devroey, E. Diczfalusy, J. L H Evers, B. C J M Fauser, L. Fraser, L. Gianaroli, A. Glasier, I. Liebaers, G. RagniA. Sunde, B. Tarlatzis, A. Van Steirteghem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Sexual reproduction provides the means for preserving genetic identity and in turn, genetic variability may affect the ability to reproduce. This review aims to summarize current research on genetic diagnosis and genetic causes of reproductive disorders. Methods: Searches were done by subject in Medline and other databases, and each subject summary was presented to the Workshop Group and omissions or disagreements were resolved by discussion. Results: Single-gene defects are most likely to be found among patients with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, which may be due to defects in the KAL genes or the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone receptor genes. With premature ovarian failure there is an increased risk of having a premutation of the Fragile X syndrome gene. Complex genetic inheritance may explain the variable familial links in polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis, but no definitive genetic pathways are as yet known. With recurrent miscarriage, genetic defects causing thrombophilias are 2-fold more likely. Chromosome abnormalities account for ∼60%; of all spontaneous abortions, and the most common type, trisomy, is closely associated with advanced maternal age. Three percent of couples have a balanced chromosome abnormality, but live birth rates are better with natural conception than with preimplantation genetic diagnosis. Conclusions: Understanding of the methods used for genetic diagnosis and research is becoming a standard requirement for the clinical practice of reproductive medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-307
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Reproduction Update
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


  • Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Pregnancy loss
  • Premature ovarian failure
  • Rokitansky syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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