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Family History and Genetic Risks

Genetic risk assessment should be based on family history, paternal age, and ethnicity. A three-generation family history of genetic disorders should be obtained, as certain disorders (sex-linked or autosomal recessive) can skip generations. A number of genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, Klinefelter syndrome, Kartagener syndrome, and polycystic kidney disease, can impair fertility and sperm quality.

Past Medical and Surgical Histories

The provider should ask about the patient's past medical and surgical histories, including any ongoing medical conditions that might impair his reproductive health. Several medical conditions have been associated with reduced sperm quality and fertility issues, including obesity, diabetes mellitus, varicocele, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and cancer treatments during childhood.

More Information

For further detail on the preconception clinical content for men, please read the full article.


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  • Page last reviewed: June 18, 2013
  • Page last updated: June 18, 2013 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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