How Does Diabetes Affect Fertility

By Subodh / May 17, 2015

Along with cancer and cardiac ailments, diabetes continues to be a major menace that keeps the medical community on tenterhooks. This is one ailment that affects multiple organs of human body including the kidneys, eyes and heart. Diabetes also wrecks havoc with essential processes like digestion, nervous system functioning and makes life pathetic for the victims. This ailment affects women and men from literally all age groups and people from nearly all ethnicities fall prey to the menace. Sadly, diabetes does not spare your sexual prowess either. Both men and women can face fertility problems after becoming diabetic.

Effect of Diabetes on Male Fertility

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Studies conducted in recent times have revealed that men are not immune to the harmful effects of diabetes on fertility. As it is, diabetes has turned out to be a prominent reason behind rising cases of male infertility across the world.

Men afflicted with type 1 diabetes- often triggered by heredity, virus and autoimmune disease- can develop a condition known as retrograde ejaculation. In this condition, the sperm does not ejaculate, but flows back into the bladder. While it does not cause you any harm- the long term result can be infertility. Men with diabetes often face ejaculation problems too.

Health experts feel that public perception about the harmful effects of diabetes on male infertility is inadequate at best. People are more aware about effects like eye disorder and cardiovascular problems that are triggered by diabetes. Dr David Price, associated with Morriston Hospital, Swansea, fell 5% of erectile dysfunction issue in men are caused by both types of diabetes. Since Diabetes affects the nerves and blood supply it hampers fertility. Apart from retrograde ejaculation, diabetic men over 40s, face rising arousal problems.

[ Read: How Does Okra Cure Diabetes ]

Effect of Type 1 Diabetes on Women

Insulin Syringe Pen Injection

Women with Type 1 diabetes need to take insulin injections since the hormone is required for reproduction and their body cannot generate it in required amounts. However, that is easier said than done. Since every woman has distinct physical traits and physiological features-requirements can vary. Expert medical intervention is what they need. Proper monitoring of insulin levels in the woman’s body is required for healthy growth of the fetus.

Women with Type 1 diabetes also need to think about related physiological conditions if they want to conceive. The thyroid stimulating hormones in their body can get affected adversely by diabetes.

[ Read: How Cinnamon Helps In Diabetes ]

Effect of Type 2 Diabetes on Women

As it is, majority of diabetics are afflicted with type 2 diabetes- both women and men. Sadly, women suffering from type 2 diabetes can face several complications and problems while conceiving.

Most of the type 2 diabetes afflicted women tend to be obese and unfit, which leads to insulin resistance. Insulin imbalance in the body leads to imbalance of other important hormones too. Infertility experts advise women afflicted with type-2 diabetes to focus on weight loss and healthy eating before they can conceive. Taking vitamin supplements can be useful in this regard as well.

Some women with type-2 diabetes often develop a critical health condition known as PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome. In this condition, multiple cysts are developed in a woman’s womb owing to hormonal imbalance. This leads to erratic menstrual cycles and subsequent infertility. Apart from erratic menstrual cycles, PCOS also leads to missed periods and immature eggs in victims. Drugs like Metformin are advised for women to cope with this condition. Similar to diabetes, doctors advise the patients to switch to healthier eating habit and lifestyle to get rid of PCOS. Sometimes, healthy women who are not obese can also develop this syndrome. African-American and Hispanic women tend to suffer more from this condition than others.

[ Read: How Yoga Can Help Your Diabetes ]

What Diabetic Women and Men Suffering From Fertility Problems Should Do?

While diabetes, in any form can create complications in fertility- it is definitely not the end of the road-except for some extreme cases. Men and women should seek advice of expert diabetes and fertility specialists to override infertility issues caused by diabetes. In several cases, people afflicted with either type-2 or type-1 diabetes have succeeded in giving birth to healthy kids under expert medical care and supervision. Advancements in fertility techniques like IVF and artificial insemination has opened new doors of possibilities for such people.