The Genetics Underlying InfertilityWe know a bit about the genetics of male infertility and are starting to identify genetic factors for conditions that contribute to infertility in women, such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids and hypothyroidism. But overall the genetic factors underlying female fertility are not well understood and 23andMe aims to uncover part of that puzzle.With this goal, 23andMe launched the Female Fertility survey and so far over 10,000 women have responded! With more data we should be able to find some genetic explanations for this complex condition, but for now we’d like to share some of the interesting characteristics of the initial survey responses.Trying to Conceive Can be Quick or Take a While
- For their first child, 66% of 23andMe respondents conceived in the first 6 months of trying, 12% in months 7-12, 8% in months 13-24, and 8% after two years of trying. 5% of respondents tried without success and 2% were unsure of the timing.
Increasing the Odds of Conceiving
- 14% of respondents said that they underwent procedures or treatments the first time they tried to conceive. 52% took oral medicines to stimulate ovulation (like Clomid or letrozole), 8% used donor sperm, 28% underwent intrauterine insemination (IUI), and 19% did in vitro fertilization. (These categories are not mutually exclusive).
Roughly 25% Miscarry at Some Point
- It’s not always openly discussed, but a significant number of pregnancies end in miscarriage. 28% of respondents said they’d had at least one miscarriage, which is on par with some reports though slightly higher than the national average of about 15-20%. 90% of respondents miscarried in the first trimester, 13% in the second, and 2% in the third (1% were unsure). 52% were not evaluated for the cause of the miscarriage.
(These percentages are as of May, 2012 and will continue to change slightly over time as more women take the Female Fertility survey.)