Diabetes is to blame for a variety of health problems such as blindness, nerve damage, and kidney disease – as well as Male & Female Fertility issues. The fertility experts of Tamara IVF Centre are here to provide you with more information on how diabetes doesn’t just affect your general health, but your reproductive health as well.
How Diabetes Can Impact Female Fertility…
Women who have diabetes are also at a greater risk for having issues with conceiving. There are many factors that can contribute to lower rates of fertility: obesity, being underweight, having diabetic complications, having PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), or having an autoimmune disease. The following conditions are associated with diabetes in women and generally lead to reduced fertility rates:
- PCOS – This is a common condition in which a large number of cysts develop on the ovaries and can affect fertility by leading to irregular or absent periods. PCOS is largely associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity.
- Irregular or absent periods – Periods are considered irregular when they arrive at intervals of 35 days or more between cycles. Periods are considered absent when a woman previously had a normal cycle but stopped getting a period for 6 months or longer.
- Premature menopause – Primarily associated with type 1 diabetes, premature menopause is defined when a woman stops getting a period prior to the age of 40.
- Endometrial cancer (uterine cancer) – This disease is more common in women with type 2 diabetes and PCOS and can lead to infertility if not treated at an early stage.
- Microvascular and cardiovascular complications – Studies show that women with type 1 diabetes who experience microvascular or cardiovascular complications have much lower rates of fertility.
How Diabetes Can Impact Male Fertility…
Male Diabetes patients are also at a higher risk for having fertility issues. Diabetes can have several effects on male fertility such as:
- Erectile dysfunction - Damage to the nerves due to diabetes can cause decreased sensation and arousal, and therefore, the decreased blood flow to the penis can lead to difficulty in maintaining an erection.
- Ejaculatory dysfunction – Long standing damage to the nerves can cause a failure of the mechanism that propels sperm forward. At times, sperm can go backward into the bladder instead of out through the penis (retrograde ejaculation). In other instances, there is a complete lack of ejaculation (anejaculation).
- Semen abnormalities – Men who suffer from diabetes often have a higher risk of sperm abnormalities such as a decreased sperm count, poor motility, increased number in abnormal sperm shape, and a decrease in sperm DNA integrity.
While diabetes can drastically decrease an individual’s fertility, diabetic individuals are still able to conceive so long as the diabetes is well controlled and a healthy body weight is maintained.
If you or your partner has diabetes and there are concerns about fertility, the experts at Tamra IVF Centre can help. For more information or to schedule a consultation with one of our top fertility specialists.
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Dr. Akhila Anand
MBBS, DGO, DRM Gynecologist, Obstetrician & Infertility Specialist
Experience: 11+ Years
Dr. Akhila Anand is the resident Obstetrician, Gynecologist & one of the Best Fertility / IVF Doctor in Rajajinagar, Bangalore.