Background: Sterility in men with cystic fibrosis (CF) raises the question of the use of assisted reproductive techniques (ART). A multidisciplinary network including adult CF centre and reproductive medicine units was set up to answer requests for ART.
Methods: This retrospective study included 25 men with CF between 1994 and 2004. Clinical status, semen analysis, CF mutations analysis and artificial insemination by donor (AID) or ICSI after surgical retrieval of sperm were monitored.
Results: All CF men had azoospermia. Two chose AID first (one delivery); 23 chose ICSI. Sperm were surgically retrieved in 21 cases, and ICSI was performed in 19. Pregnancies occurred in 12 of these 19 couples (63%) (two ectopic pregnancies, two spontaneous abortions, one termination of pregnancy for polymalformed twins and 11 single deliveries in nine couples). Two couples tried AID after ICSI failed; one had twins. Another adopted a child, and two had a spontaneous pregnancy. After a follow-up of 4.1+/-2.3 years, two patients died, two underwent lung transplantation and 21 remained stable.
Conclusion: ART can help men with CF to become a father, but their health status and short survival need careful counselling and multidisciplinary medical care.