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Diabetes & Fertility: Is there a Connection?

Team AckoFeb 8, 2024

Diabetes is a condition where the blood sugar levels are very high. Uncontrolled sugar levels will cause lot of other health issues among which impacting fertility is one. When sugar level is not well controlled, it can make conception difficult.



On the other hand, when sugar levels are in control, it will regularize menstrual cycles, increase sex drive, increase testosterone levels and reduce risk of miscarriage, having a large baby, congenital disorder in baby, stillbirth and neonatal death.

So, how does diabetes make conception difficult? How does it impact male and female fertility? What can be done?

Diabetes impact on Male Fertility

1. Erectile Dysfunction

Diabetes results in nerve damage and reduced blood circulation. This makes it difficult in getting or maintaining an erection. Getting sugar under control, cutting down on alcohol and no smoking will minimize the effects of erectile dysfunction.

2. Retarded Ejaculation

If nerves in the penis become damaged, it affects the ability to ejaculate. If conception via intercourse is difficult, ART such as IVF is an option that can be considered to treat infertility.

3. Poor sperm quality

Diabetes results in poor sperm quality but not poor sperm motility (the movement of sperm towards egg).

4. Low Testosterone levels

When sugar levels are not under control, the testosterone levels drop. This can impair fertility as low testosterone levels will cause low sperm count, erectile dysfunction and low libido. Testosterone levels can be improved by giving injections, capsules etc.

Diabetes impact on Female Fertility

1. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Women suffering from obesity and diabetes are at risk of PCOS which affects fertility in two ways. Either irregular periods (Oligomenorrhea) or absent periods(Secondary Amenorrhea). By making lifestyle changes and medication, the chances of conception can be improved.

2. Premature Menopause

Diabetes puts women at another risk of premature menopause, a condition also known as premature ovarian failure. In this condition, menopause occurs before 40 years old causing infertility.

3. Endometrial cancer

Women suffering from diabetes and PCOS are more at risk of endometrial cancer, which can lead to infertility if the cancer is not diagnosed and treated early.

4. Miscarriage

Before conception or during pregnancy, uncontrolled sugar levels can cause miscarriage.

Having known the complications of diabetes on fertility, it is very important to take control of your sugar levels. The good news is diabetes can be managed and your chances of getting pregnant can get better. By eating a well balanced diet, regular exercise, no smoking, maintaining an ideal weight, managing stress and monitoring blood sugar levels regularly, you can minimize the many risks of diabetes including impairing fertility.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only, based on industry experience and secondary sources. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a qualified expert for health or insurance-related decisions. Content is subject to change, refer to current policy wordings for specific ACKO details.



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