Although acromegaly can lead to fertility problems in some men and women it is often still possible to conceive and get pregnant naturally.
Remember your fertility reduces as you get older regardless of whether or not you have acromegaly and so it may take a little more time if you or your partner are in your 40s than if you are both in your early 30s.
Treatment for acromegaly can often help to improve the chances of conception and pregnancy if you so desire.
Your doctor or another healthcare professional specialising in fertility can provide advice of other ways or treatments to help improve your or your partner’s overall fertility. They can also advise of any potential risks associated with acromegaly medications.
Acromegaly can lower a person’s fertility because the tumour in the pituitary gland is not only altering levels of growth hormone in the body, but also affecting the production of other hormones that are involved in the ability to conceive and a person’s libido.
In addition, the presence of a pituitary tumour in women can cause menstrual cycle changes. Women may find that they have irregular periods, which of course will make it much harder for women with acromegaly to get pregnant than someone who does not have the acromegaly.
However, talk to your endocrinologist or general practitioner about any changes in libido or menstruation that you experience, particularly if these continue following your treatment for acromegaly. They may be able to prescribe treatment that will help increase sexual desire or improve impotence in men or help regulate periods in women.
Being diagnosed with acromegaly while pregnant tends to be a rare occurrence.
Your specialist doctor will advise on monitoring growth hormone levels during your pregnancy and if this needs to be changed in any way. He or she will also tell you about any potential risks of acromegaly medication you may be using, and if an alteration in your acromegaly treatment is needed while you are pregnant.
Importantly, changes in growth hormone levels during pregnancy are not thought to affect either the mother or the unborn child in the long term, with a normal pregnancy and healthy delivery usually occurring.
Read practical tips to help make your life with acromegaly easier, including tips from others living with the condition
Find an acromegaly patient support group in your country to find out about local activities and events that you may be able to attend
Learn about acromegaly including what causes this slowly evolving condition, and the early symptoms and signs