Can Diabetes Affect Fertility in Men and Women?

Almost everyone knows a family member or friend around them who is diabetic. But do we actually know what diabetes does – not really, right? Diabetes has a lot of effects on the body, one of which – the not so popular one is – infertility.

Diabetes affects the human body concerning effects on fertility in men and women. So, if you and your spouse are trying hard to get pregnant and have tried everything you can do, then take a blood sugar test. There are growing numbers of Type 1 and 2 diabetes patients in today’s times.

Moreover, the studies state a relation between infertility and diabetes in men and women. Men and women with diabetes may have a reduced likelihood of getting pregnant. Let us dive right in to know why is this so and how it works.

Diabetes and Fertility in Males:

Diabetes could be a reason behind infertility in males. However, if you have diabetes that does not mean you’re totally infertile. Diabetes can make you less fertile in a few ways. Here’s a look at how diabetes affects fertility in males:

  • Sexual Dysfunction: Diabetic men may have sexual issues like retrograde ejaculation erectile dysfunction. Usually, men with diabetes suffer from more erectile dysfunction and may get it at an early age. Both sexual problems can lead to losing interest in sex after a few attempts.
  • Sperm Quality: Diabetic men have a lower sperm quality than non-diabetic men. A study suggested that the semen levels of diabetic men are nearly 25% lower than non-diabetic men. Diabetes can also cause structural sperm damage.
  • Declined Libido: Glucose is the source of energy in the brain. When you lack glucose in certain areas of the brain, then it may lead to lower sexual drive, weakness or fatigue.
  • Sperm DNA Damage: Diabetes is linked to increased mitochondrial, nuclear, and DNA damage which harms the reproduction ability of men.
All of these suggest that diabetes and fertility in men are connected, and it is problematic for a diabetic man to make his partner pregnant since the risk of deformities or miscarriage is higher in this case.  

Does Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes affect Fertility in Men?

Yes, type 1 diabetes does affect male infertility. In type 1 diabetes, the body attacks its insulin-producing cells, making blood sugar regulation tough. As a result, the man will have to supplement his body’s daily insulin needs with external doses. This type of diabetes affects fertility, and men with this condition may require special care and medication from their doctor to inseminate their partner.

Type 2 diabetes also affects male fertility. This type of diabetes occurs due to insufficient insulin production and is quite easy to manage. All you need to do is control your diet and exercise regularly. Once you lead a healthy lifestyle, you can impregnate your partner.

Diabetes and Fertility in Females:

Women with diabetes can get pregnant with blood sugar level in control. Here’s how diabetes can impact fertility in women:

  • Reduced Libido: Many diabetic women have reduced sexual desire as a result of fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Women may experience discomfort and pain during sex because of decreased vaginal lubrication.
  • Anti-sperm Antibodies: The antibodies that get produced during diabetes attack the sperm and egg and prevent you from getting pregnant.
  • Genitourinary Infections: Women with diabetes are vulnerable to infection and harm to reproductive organs, especially the fallopian tubes.
  • Menstrual Problems: Diabetes can be linked to menstrual problems like longer periods, heavy bleeding, menstruation issues at a young age and a longer length of a cycle. Juvenile diabetes leads to delayed menarche.
  • Anovulation: Anovulation is the lack of ovulation that should occur in a post-menarche or premenopausal woman. Anovulation can be caused by several factors, which include chronic mental illness, hormone imbalance, pituitary or ovarian failure, and diabetes. Diabetic women with low BMI will have irregular periods, causing reproductive problems.
  • Pregnancy Complications:Lack of glucose control can make implantation of fertile eggs difficult. Even if implantation occurs, diabetes can cause genetic defects, large babies or miscarriage.
  • PCOS: Type 2 diabetes is most common in postmenopausal women, but with modern dietary and lifestyle habits, obesity is on the rise, increasing the incidence of Type 2 diabetes during the fertile years. Obesity is linked to irregular menstrual cycles and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
PCOS is a hormonal disorder characterized by an abundance of male hormones, ovarian cysts, and irregular menstrual cycles or absence of ovulation. Insulin resistance affects between 50 and 70 per cent of PCOS women. Lower levels of adiponectin in PCOSPCOS is a hormonal disorder characterized by an abundance of male hormones, ovarian cysts, and irregular menstrual cycles or absence of ovulation. Insulin resistance affects between 50 and 70 per cent of PCOS women. Lower levels of adiponectin in PCOS women cause insulin resistance and fat breakdown. As a result, PCOS coexists with diabetes and obesity, posing a muti threat to fertility and reproductive health.

Read: Easy to Spot Signs of PCOS

Does Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes affect Fertility in Women?

Yes, both types of diabetes can affect fertility in women. However, with lifestyle changes, medication, weight loss and a good diet, you can carry a pregnancy. If you have type 1 diabetes, you need to consult a doctor because you will need medication.

Carrying pregnancy with diabetes is not easy, and you will need medical assistance. If you or your partner have diabetes and are facing trouble conceiving – book your appointment with Dr Manish Banker at Banker IVF. Dr Manish Banker is one of the most renowned fertility specialists in Ahmedabad who have helped 20000+ couples enjoy the joy of parenting.
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