Diabetes, a common chronic health condition, significantly affects fertility in both men and women. Understanding the complex relationship between diabetes and reproductive health is crucial for people planning to conceive. The primary cause of diabetes is the body’s inability to produce or effectively use insulin, which causes blood sugar levels to rise. There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. This article examines the different ways diabetes affects fertility, its effects on both sexes.
In an interaction with Zee News English, Dr. Kshitij Murdia, CEO and Co-Founder, Indira IVF talks about how diabetes affects a woman’s fertility and pregnancy.
Diabetes and female fertility
“In women, diabetes poses a multifaceted challenge to fertility. Factors such as obesity, underweight, diabetic complications, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and autoimmune diseases contribute to lower fertility rates. Conditions like PCOS disrupt the menstrual cycle,” says Dr. Kshitij. can lead to irregular or complete amenorrhea. Notably, women with type 1 diabetes exhibit distinct reproductive patterns, including delayed menses, increased blood sugar levels, and early natural menopause, resulting in a 17% reduction in the reproductive window.”
“Diabetes can lead to delayed ovulation, abnormal menstruation, reduced chances of normal conception, and increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. High blood glucose levels during pregnancy can lead to severe malformations and macrosomia. Long-term complications such as eye problems and kidney disease can worsen during pregnancy, preeclampsia in addition. poses a risk.”
Diabetes and male fertility
In men, diabetes adversely affects fertility by affecting sexual function and semen quality. Diabetic men are more likely to develop sexual disorders, especially erectile dysfunction, than their non-diabetic counterparts. Studies reveal that non-diabetic men exhibit higher genetic and morphological sperm quality with reduced DNA damage. Diabetes interferes with multiple components of the reproductive system in both men and women, requiring extensive evaluation and treatment.
Managing diabetes-related fertility problems
“Addressing the fertility challenges associated with diabetes requires a multifaceted approach. Lifestyle changes and medications can alleviate some problems, but others may require assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), to achieve a successful pregnancy. Couples planning to have children Doing so. Accurate diagnosis of any underlying medical concerns should be prioritized, allowing for informed decisions and tailored interventions,” adds Dr. Kshitij.
It is best for individuals to recognize these challenges and seek appropriate medical guidance to navigate the path of parenting. With a broader understanding of how diabetes affects fertility, couples can make informed choices and explore appropriate interventions to fulfill their dreams of starting a family.