Find out from the experts how DIABETES can impact your fertility

4 weeks ago  |  109.8K
Experts reveal how DIABETES can impact your fertility

We know that various things can impact your fertility as well as reproductive and sexual health. One of the things that affect the fertility of a person is diabetes. In fact, diabetes can lead to hormonal imbalance which then has an effect on your conception and causes failed implantation. 

Diabetes can impact both male and female fertility equally and it is quite often associated with low quality of sperm, embryo and damage to the DNA. It can impact the nerves and blood vessels of female reproductive organs and can cause sexual dysfunction.

What is diabetes?

Our body is made of trillions of cells and they need the energy to function. The food that you consume is turned into sugar, which is also known as glucose. The glucose travels to all your cells through your bloodstream. The pancreas makes something called insulin. Insulin helps all the cells in your body use glucose. Your cells require glucose to meet the nourishment they need. When a person has diabetes the level of glucose in the body is not appropriate. Either your pancreas is not making enough insulin, or your cells are not reacting to the insulin the way that they should, so there is too much glucose running through your blood. With type-1 diabetes, your body does not create insulin. With type-2 diabetes, which is the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well. Without enough insulin, in the body, the glucose remains in your blood.

Having too much or too little glucose in your blood can damage your heart, cause a stroke, blood vessels, kidneys, brain, nerves, might even come to the point where one needs to get a limb removed and causes eyesight to get worse over the years.

These are a few reasons why one might have diabetes:

1.       Eating habits are bad.

2.       Living a sedentary lifestyle.

3.       Being overweight or obese.

4.       High cholesterol.

Some symptoms to know if you have diabetes are:

1.       Too much thirst or hunger.

2.       Urinating at short intervals.

3.       Weight loss.

4.       Tiredness.

5.       Changes in vision.

6.       Slow healing cuts.

7.       Itching the skin relentlessly.

8.       Increased irritability.

9.       More incidences of fainting or dizziness.

Impact of diabetes on female fertility:                         

If a woman has had Type-1 diabetes most of her life it can interact with the hormonal regulation that stimulates a regular menstrual cycle. Type-2 diabetes is different. It is led by something called insulin resistance. Common risk factors for type-2 diabetes include obesity and PCOS. Diabetes can cause female infertility by delaying menarche (onset of menses for the first time) and this is intensified by the fact that high sugar causes rapid and premature ovarian ageing as evidenced by early menopause. Thus diabetes leads to the shortening of a woman's reproductive lifespan.

Impact of diabetes on male fertility:

Diabetes can have an impact on male fertility. Elevated blood sugar levels and elevated cholesterol levels can cause difficulty in erection. This condition is known as erectile dysfunction. The elevated blood sugar levels in diabetes mellitus can also result in an increased level of DNA fragmentation in the sperm. Increased DNA fragmentation is very serious as it can reduce the chances of getting pregnant and in some cases might increase the risk of miscarriage. An egg that is fertilised by fragmented sperm has a very high possibility of becoming an unhealthy embryo. Elevated blood sugar levels can also reduce sperm motility and reduced sperm volume. There are also chances of sperm shape altering due to diabetes.

Treatments if a patient has diabetes (and wants to conceive):

It is extremely necessary for one to engage with your diabetes team. If you have diabetes (type 1 or 2), it is important to improve your glycaemic control before conception.  See a dietitian with experience infertility and diabetes to help improve your health. A dietitian can provide individualised tailored plans around how food and what we are we are eating really impacts our blood sugar levels, and what we can do to improve our chances of conceiving while having a normal and healthy pregnancy.

Yoga can also prove to be extremely helpful in controlling or keeping your diabetes in check, as there is no cure for diabetes. Your doctor might suggest you oral medicines or sometimes ‘Insulin Therapy’; in this, because the pancreas does not make enough or any insulin, it is injected into the body. The injected insulin will substitute and assist your body. You may need to inject yourself several times each day. A professional health physician can help you teach how to inject it. 

Exercise, weight control and sticking to a proper diet can help one to keep his or her diabetes in check. One should regularly monitor their glucose level & can even take regular medication prescribed by their doctors for long and healthy life. 

About the author: Dr Jasmine Kaur Dahiya, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Jalandhar

Also Read:  Here’s how can you improve your living for enhanced mental and physical health


Anonymous : why spend thousands and millions on conception and then carrying that baby for 8 9 months stressfully . if it does not click within the first few years, couselling should be given in hospitals for adoption .millions of babies are abondaned day after day .
REPLY 1 3 weeks ago