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srgalactica
03-21-2013, 08:23 PM
In my fantasy WIP, Character A's mother died giving birth to her. Is there any medical condition that could have been passed down to Character A that would make her infertile?

Obviously in a fantasy novel,no one will know what the condition might be or how it would have worked, but I want it to be plausible to people reading the story that Character A could have a genetic infertility problem due to her mothers death in childbirth. I'm hoping for something that wouldn't cause her to miss menstruation cycles or anything...just an inability to get pregnant, or and inability to bring a pregnancy to term.

Cella
03-21-2013, 08:42 PM
So you need the mother's death in childbirth directly linked to your character's infertility?

I haven't ever heard of such a thing, at least that wouldn't cause other issues for the child as well. There is a bacteria which women get tested for before they deliver to prevent it from being passed to the child in the birth canal.

srgalactica
03-21-2013, 08:54 PM
So you need the mother's death in childbirth directly linked to your character's infertility?

I haven't ever heard of such a thing, at least that wouldn't cause other issues for the child as well. There is a bacteria which women get tested for before they deliver to prevent it from being passed to the child in the birth canal.

It doesn't *have* to be linked if it's not possible, but it would be nice if it could be. What is the bacteria? They wouldn't have been able to test for such a thing in my fantasy world. So, something like that might work. I don't ever need to explain it in the WIP, but I would want to know what made her infertile.

Cella
03-21-2013, 08:56 PM
It is a type of strep.

I found a link that may be of use-- good luck!

http://www.cdc.gov/groupbstrep/resources/flyer-protect-baby.html

soapdish
03-21-2013, 10:17 PM
Hmm. Well, I was wondering about HPV. I think that it *can* be linked to infertility, but isn't always. And I think that it *can* be transmitted by vaginal birth, but not always. (don't quote me on that, though. you can look up info on it or talk to an OBGYN to confirm)

But...what I'm wondering is if there's a different way to go about it. A way to link the two things (mom's death and girls non-baby producing state) without going the route of "infertility". Without knowing much else about your book and the motivations of the characters (I don't know if the girl WANTS to get pregnant but can't, for example), but would it be possible that she renders herself unable to have children simply because she fears dying in childbirth like her mother? Could the trend stretch farther back and have every woman on her mom's side dying during childbirth--something that would traumatize her and make her choose to have a procedure rendering her infertile?

Or...depending on how dark your story is, you could have someone else render her infertile because of this. Like...a father or grandfather that worries (irrationally maybe) that she'll suffer the same fate as her mother if she has children. Someone who would have something to gain emotionally from preventing her to have a baby?

This would get you out of the whole "science" of it all. A little less technical and more based on character motivations.
Just some thoughts.

srgalactica
03-21-2013, 10:42 PM
Hmm. Well, I was wondering about HPV. I think that it *can* be linked to infertility, but isn't always. And I think that it *can* be transmitted by vaginal birth, but not always. (don't quote me on that, though. you can look up info on it or talk to an OBGYN to confirm)

But...what I'm wondering is if there's a different way to go about it. A way to link the two things (mom's death and girls non-baby producing state) without going the route of "infertility". Without knowing much else about your book and the motivations of the characters (I don't know if the girl WANTS to get pregnant but can't, for example), but would it be possible that she renders herself unable to have children simply because she fears dying in childbirth like her mother? Could the trend stretch farther back and have every woman on her mom's side dying during childbirth--something that would traumatize her and make her choose to have a procedure rendering her infertile?

Or...depending on how dark your story is, you could have someone else render her infertile because of this. Like...a father or grandfather that worries (irrationally maybe) that she'll suffer the same fate as her mother if she has children. Someone who would have something to gain emotionally from preventing her to have a baby?

This would get you out of the whole "science" of it all. A little less technical and more based on character motivations.
Just some thoughts.

I should probably mention that her infertility doesn't figure into the story that much. The fact that her mother dies in childbirth is a big deal in how it effects the villain.

Part of it is backstory. Prior to the events of the book, FMC had an arranged marriage, was able to conceive, (though I could have her unable to conceive at all) and miscarried early in the pregnancy. This nullified the arranged marriage.

Now, it's effecting her because she feels like she's not a good match for the MMC because she won't be able to have children with him.

I mean...I don't really *have* to explain it. I'm just one of those writers that needs to know everything, even if the characters don't. lol

soapdish
03-21-2013, 11:58 PM
I should probably mention that her infertility doesn't figure into the story that much. The fact that her mother dies in childbirth is a big deal in how it effects the villain.

Part of it is backstory. Prior to the events of the book, FMC had an arranged marriage, was able to conceive, (though I could have her unable to conceive at all) and miscarried early in the pregnancy. This nullified the arranged marriage.

Now, it's effecting her because she feels like she's not a good match for the MMC because she won't be able to have children with him. I see. That does make a difference then on what I suggested. Bummer.


I mean...I don't really *have* to explain it. I'm just one of those writers that needs to know everything, even if the characters don't. lolI think you are right. Absolutely. I am a firm believer in the writer knowing everything, even if the characters don't. Your instincts are good. I hope you work out a solution to your problem.

Also, don't let it stop you from writing. IMO you can get stuck spinning your wheels on one little thing. Leave a big blank spot or...just fill in with "MYSTERY CONDITION HAS LEFT HER INFERTILE" and keep writing until you later figure out what's going to fill that blank spot. You'll figure it out.

Roxxsmom
03-22-2013, 09:07 AM
There are a small number of women who are infertile for hormonal reasons. Maybe their pituitary glands aren't producing enough of the so-called "gonadotrophic" hormones at the right time to stimulate the ovaries properly to produce enough estrogen, so they aren't able to build enough of an endometrial layer to receive the fertilized egg (though these women may not ever get pregnant at all, as the egg might not implant. Or they'd miscarry very early). There are also women who have issues with their cervix, so the womb just can't hold a pregnancy past a certain point.

Actually, in pre-industrial settings in particular (where women tend to reach their menses relatively late compared to industrialized countries), there is an approximately three year period where a woman is "sub-fertile" because her hormone levels are not yet optimal. So if a woman reaches menarche at 16 (a fairly average age in the old days) and is married soon after, she may not actually conceive and carry a pregnancy to term until she is around 18-19, even if she is normal.

There are also infections (like chlamydia) that can scar the fallopian tubes, though they would likely cause other issues in a world without the means to combat internal bacterial infections.

You might want to try googling infertility in young women as a topic and seeing what it comes up with. I assume you want her to be otherwise healthy.

sunandshadow
03-22-2013, 12:08 PM
If the mother was of a different species than the father, the mother's immune system might start to reject the child's presence, which could cause death in childbirth. The daughter might be sterile due to being a mule.

meowzbark
03-22-2013, 11:29 PM
I found a possibility:

Endometriosis - where the fetus grows outside of the womb. It's fatal to the fetus and can be fatal to the mother. Since you're writing fantasy, you can have the fetus survive as a miracle baby (although definitely premature) and the mother die. Women have a higher chance of having endometriosis if a family member has it, so it does have genetic possibilities.

If your main character has endometriosis, she can conceive but she will miscarry, which will make her basically infertile.

Would that work?

srgalactica
03-22-2013, 11:41 PM
I found a possibility:

Endometriosis - where the fetus grows outside of the womb. It's fatal to the fetus and can be fatal to the mother. Since you're writing fantasy, you can have the fetus survive as a miracle baby (although definitely premature) and the mother die. Women have a higher chance of having endometriosis if a family member has it, so it does have genetic possibilities.

If your main character has endometriosis, she can conceive but she will miscarry, which will make her basically infertile.

Would that work?

It would except that I've heard endometriosis is painful and since she's an assassin, I don't think having her in constant pain would work.

sunandshadow
03-23-2013, 08:39 PM
How about the mother was poisoned, and the poison affected the daughter in a way that wasn't fatal but caused sterility?

Brutal Mustang
03-23-2013, 08:49 PM
I see. That does make a difference then on what I suggested. Bummer.

Bummer indeed. That was brilliant, soapdish. I'd be riveted to a well-written book with that in it.

Nekko
03-23-2013, 10:31 PM
So if I understand your storyline, she's miscarried once and just fears she will again? If that's the case, you don't need to have a genetic or on going medical reason.

Women miscarry for many reasons. They may or may not have problems in future pregnancies. But once bitten, twice shy. It makes sense that she will feel inadequate or just fearful of a similar traumatic experience.

As for a medical reason - I don't know how advanced the medical knowledge is in your world. Certain hormones produced in excess can induce pre-mature labor. Oxytocin is one.
The March of Dimes has this info in factors involved in miscarriage:
First trimester: Hormonal problems, infections, diabetes, thyroid disease, systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune disorders can increase the risk of early miscarriage.
Second trimester: later losses often are caused by problems with the uterus or by a weakened cervix that dilates prematurely.

Any of these could be genetically passed on by the mother.

(I just Googled hormones affecting miscarriage)

soapdish
03-24-2013, 05:30 AM
If the mother was of a different species than the father, the mother's immune system might start to reject the child's presence, which could cause death in childbirth. The daughter might be sterile due to being a mule.I kinda like this idea. Like you say, it's fantasy, and this is sort of a fantasy trope that has stood the test of time. But I'm not sure if fits with what the OP is looking for. Though, I wonder...what if instead of a "mule" unable to produce, it could just be highly unlikely. I think there are cases of "mule"types producing even when previously not thought possible. The mom could struggle in childbirth because her body is rejecting the baby, the baby could grow up and be *nearly* unable to produce kids. This would work with her previous miscarriage for example. She could conceive, but not not carry to term. :Shrug:


Bummer indeed. That was brilliant, soapdish. I'd be riveted to a well-written book with that in it.Thank you. :D Since the OP isn't going to use the idea...*puts Brutal Mustang on her beta reader list* ;)

Witch_turtle
03-24-2013, 05:46 AM
I found a possibility:

Endometriosis - where the fetus grows outside of the womb. It's fatal to the fetus and can be fatal to the mother. Since you're writing fantasy, you can have the fetus survive as a miracle baby (although definitely premature) and the mother die. Women have a higher chance of having endometriosis if a family member has it, so it does have genetic possibilities.

If your main character has endometriosis, she can conceive but she will miscarry, which will make her basically infertile.

Would that work?

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue of the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus. What you're describing is an ectopic pregnancy. They are unrelated.

It is a good option, though, if an explanation for the miscarriage is necessary, although it is *very* dangerous for the mother. Having her fear getting pregnant again, because of her mother's death and her own near-death, could be interesting too.

Petroglyph
03-24-2013, 05:40 PM
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/aps/

You might try some ideas based on this.

shaldna
03-25-2013, 04:31 PM
I can't think of anything that would cause the mother's death and then infertility to the child. However, you could look at something such as clamydia (sp?) which can be passed from mother to child during birth and if left untreated can result in infertility - the thing about it also is that it can be undetected for years - many people are unaware that they have it.

It wouldn't cause the mother's death, but there are lots of other things that would, and, if the character doesn't know any better, they could put one and one together and make 5 and blame the death on their infertility.

rnpudel
04-17-2013, 08:05 AM
Hi. Not sure if you still need help on this, feel free to DM me. :) And if I can't answer it I have a midwife friend who probably can.

jennontheisland
04-17-2013, 08:40 AM
Since it's fantasy, couldn't there be folklore/old wives tales/urban legend that infertility is caused by maternal mortality. The ones who end up fertile are because of some kind of witchcraft/magic/gobbldeygook that "works"?

GeorgeK
04-17-2013, 04:36 PM
So if I understand your storyline, she's miscarried once and just fears she will again? If that's the case, you don't need to have a genetic or on going medical reason.

Women miscarry for many reasons. They may or may not have problems in future pregnancies. But once bitten, twice shy. It makes sense that she will feel inadequate or just fearful of a similar traumatic experience.

This was relatively common in centuries past, plus it was always assumed that it was all the woman's fault, adding unjustifiably to her shame.

Mrs. de Winter
04-18-2013, 02:07 AM
If your characters have an inherited blood clotting disorder, it could cause the mother to die of a blood clot and cause her daughter to have repeat miscarriages/stillbirths. Alternatively, it could cause a placental abruption and the doctors could save the baby but have the mother bleed to death. However, I'm not sure how clear it would be to your readers what was happening unless you explain it.

http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/complications_thrombophilias.html

dirtsider
04-18-2013, 02:40 AM
Perhaps the FMC might have gotten an STD from her first husband (from the arranged marriage). This might be the cause of her infertility, rather than something she inherited from her mother. If this fantasy is more medieval in setting, they might not have a cure for the STD or even a test for it. That and the husband from the arranged marriage may have had sex prior to the marriage which is where he got the STD in the first place.