Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Is pernicious anaemia hereditary (and can it cause infertility)

My wife has been trying to get pregnant for 2 years - her Mother had the same problem due to her pernicious anemia. Although she has never had other health problems she is concerned that this is the reason she isn’t having any luck with pregnancy? Should she be tested if she is otherwise asymptomatic?

4 Replies

Yes - it is hereditary, and this seems to be true if blue or blue/green eyes are involved.

Research into this is currently being carried out by doctors in Manchester.

Pernicious Anaemia and B12 Deficiency are able to masquerade as other diseases and so if her mother had it I would certainly ask for your wife to be tested - not only for B12 Deficiency but also for Intrinsic Factor Antibodies.

I am unable to help with the pregnancy issue.


Yes, B12 deficiency can cause infertility, not only in females but males as well. If your B12 level drops low enough, it can prevent ovulation, resulting in the cessation of the menstrual periods.


I've also noticed a link with people with Coeliac Disease often having low B12 or Pernicious Anemia as well. So it maybe worth having the blood tests for Coeliac Disease. If someone has that and they don't know they do it also causes infertility and miscarriage.



I was diagnosed with PA and Hypothyroidism in 2001. I had never had any luck with conception prior to that.

In 2002, I became pregnant and had a very healthy normal birth and baby....being treated all through.

I don't know if the treatment is what made a difference or not....but I guess I'm just an example that it is possible to become pregnant with PA. :-)

Good luck!!



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