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Can I get married and have kids with CML

Hi , I'm Ravi 25 years old from India. I got diagnosed with CML 1 year ago and I'm taking imatanib since then. Now I'm thinking of getting married. Can I get married without any issues and can I have a kids without any genetic problems.

Hi Ravi,

Hello and welcome. Your questions are very sensible ones and fortunately for you, your CML and treatment ought not to interfere with your plans for your life. 

Though CML is genetic, it is not hereditary. You didn't get the "bad" gene from your parents, and you would not pass it on to a child you may have in the future. 

The growing body of evidence these days shows that it is safe to father a child on imatinib. There is a bit less research on farthing children on the other TKIs but even then, the suggestion seems to be that it's ok. Some doctors may be very, very conservative and suggest against it - but I think that is not the position held by the vast majority of CML specialists. It's more complicated if the mother is the CML patient, by the way.

Similarly, you would not expose a woman to imatinib so there would be no risk to her health so that should not put you off marriage. As I am sure you know, the life expectancy for a patient responding well to treatment is pretty much the same as anyone else. 

Prof Jane Apperley is a leader in fertilIty and CML. I was at a conference last year where she spoke on this topic. Here are the slides:

If you want to watch to her presentation, there is a recording of it here:


Thank you very much David. Your reply gave me a new hope and link you shared is very much helpful.

You can’t eat grapefruit.
So if your wife serves you grapefruit
your marriage may be over.