Klinefelter’s Syndrome has always been associated with infertility. However it is now known that sperm are sometimes initially produced, but these die off.
There are now surgical procedures which examine the testes for viable sperm. If sperm are found, they can be extracted and used to fertilise an egg. In theory, sperm can be cryopreserved (frozen) for future use. However, this can damage already fragile sperm. Many fertility experts will carry out procedures only on KS/XXY adults who are in a position to start a family.
Success rates are still quite low – around 10% to 15% – but methods are improving all the time and results are higher in younger adults. A few of our members have fathered a child by this means!
However this does raise some ethical questions regarding informed consent.
Parents may be relieved to know that, because recent research has indicated that attempted fertility preservation is ineffective for under 16s, most boys should have the capacity to decide for themselves before their options run out.
Many of our members have adopted children and there is also the option of using donor sperm.
For more information, please see our booklet KS and fertility.