Diabetes is a common problem seen in many people. It is a condition where the pancreas cannot produce enough levels of insulin (type 1 diabetes) or the produced insulin (type 2 diabetes) cannot be used by the body. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have an impact on fertility in both males and females. In women, diabetes can lead to misconception or delayed implantation. In men, diabetes affects sperm quality.
How Does Diabetes Affect Fertility in Men?
Diabetes has an effect on male fertility. Men who have diabetes experience sexual dysfunction, and decreased libido. This can lead to less sexual desire and there by finds it difficult to impregnate their partner.
Impact of Type 1 Diabetes on Male Fertility
Men who have type 1 diabetes need to take insulin doses externally to provide enough insulin to the body. But the medications and doses can have an impact on their fertility. Type 1 diabetes damages the sperm DNA and there by disables their reproductive ability.
Impact of Type 2 Diabetes on Male Fertility
Type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1 diabetes. In this scenario, insulin will be produced by the pancreas but it cannot be used by the body. Men with type 2 diabetes are found to have low sperm quality than others due to poor sperm concentration in semen. It also affects motility and causes structural damage to the sperm and its DNA. However, it can be controlled through proper diet and regular exercise.
How Does Diabetes Affect Fertility in Women?
It is evident that diabetes has an impact on female fertility. Women who have had diabetes for a long time find it difficult to conceive. This is because the glucose levels in the body cannot be controlled. Due to this, implantation of fertilized eggs in the uterus becomes difficult. Diabetes in women also causes infection and damages fallopian tubes and other reproductive organs. Sexual desire also gets reduced due to depression, anxiety, and tiredness. They may also experience pain and discomfort during sexual intercourse.
Women who have diabetes have 30% to 60% chances of miscarriage. Even if the implantation takes place, delivery can be risky and the child may be born with congenital disabilities.
Impact of Type 1 Diabetes on Female Fertility
Type 1 diabetes in women causes the following problems:
- Menstrual cycle disturbances: Type 1 diabetes causes delayed periods, longer menstruation cycles, and even heavy bleeding. Diabetes in younger women can cause delayed menarche.
- Anovulation: It is a condition where the egg will not be released from the ovary during periods. As an egg is required for pregnancy, it can lead to infertility. Women who have diabetes have irregular menstrual cycles and hence it causes intercellular starvation. This further reduces the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and prolactin which are vital for reproduction.
- Anti-sperm antibodies: Anti-sperm antibodies in the female’s vagina can kill the sperm and her own eggs.
Impact of Type 2 Diabetes on Female Fertility
Type 2 diabetes also has an effect on female fertility. It can cause Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a metabolic disorder. PCOS produces higher amounts of androgens and forms cysts on the ovaries. Women who have PCOS have low levels of adiponectin hormone. This hormone is responsible for enhancing insulin sensitivity and preventing obesity. As a result, PCOS and diabetes exist together and lead to obesity which can be a serious threat to fertility. But it can be prevented by losing weight through a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
How is Infertility with Diabetes Treated?
The treatment for infertility due to diabetes in both men and women focuses on controlling blood sugars, and reproductive hormones. The treatment is based on the medical history of the couple and their families. The treatment first focuses on treating diabetes through diet, medications, insulin, etc. If not, other treatment options such as IVF, IVF with ICSI, and Sperm retrieval procedures may also be suggested.
Diabetes Affecting Your Fertility? IRA Fertility is Your Go to Place
IRA Fertility is one of the Best Fertility Center in Hyderabad that can treat fertility problems in both men and women. We are well-equipped with the latest tools and facilities to ensure the safety of our patients. Our fertility doctors have experience in treating various fertility problems. We also provide counselling along with the treatment for better outcomes. If you are finding difficulty to conceive or not letting your wife get pregnant, call us today to find a solution.