Skip to main content

11-04-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

BRCA gene mutations do not increase risk for infertility


Free abstract

MedWire News: Women who carry a mutation on the BRCA gene (BRCA1 and/or BRCA2) have similar fertility experiences to women who have no mutation, study findings show.

The finding challenges the researchers hypothesis that BRCA mutations may have a negative effect on reproduction, in light of the role of BRCA genes in telomere repair and maintenance at gametogenesis and embryogenesis.

Steven Narod (Women’s College Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) and colleagues carried out a case-control study including 2,254 BRCA carriers matched with 764 noncarrier control women.

They observed no significant differences in age at first birth or age at last birth between carriers and noncarriers. There was also no difference in mean parity, at 1.9 and 1.9 children, respectively.

A similar proportion of carriers and noncarriers reported having experienced fertility problems, at 14.4 percent versus 14.1 percent. Furthermore, fertility medication was taken by a reported 3.8 percent of carriers, and 4.9 percent of noncarriers.

Narod and team conclude with their belief that any differences in fertility “would be toward the limits of reproductive life,” thus, they recommend “larger studies with age-stratified analyses… to definitively answer this question.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a part of Springer Science+Business Media. © Current Medicine Group Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy