Diabetes is also called a silent killer because as time passes and if not kept in control, it can have an adverse effect in terms of loss of vision, kidney disease, and nerve damage that has a lasting impact on the health of diabetics.
However, it also affects your reproductive health, a rarely acknowledged aspect of your health.
Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a well-known IVF doctor in Nagpur, asserts that uncontrolled diabetes can negatively impact the fertility and reproductive health of both men and women. It is associated with hormonal difficulties, poor quality of the sperm, and damage to DNA, leads to irregular menstruation cycles in women and erectile dysfunction in men.
What effects does diabetes have on fertility?
Diabetes can impact a woman’s ability to conceive and give birth to a healthy child, according to scientific research. The reproductive health and fertility of both men and women are affected by diabetes.
IDF (International Diabetes Federation) estimates that by 2021, diabetes will have impacted over 537 million persons worldwide, with over 50% unaware of their condition.
Diabetes might have different effects on men and women regarding their fertility.
What is the relationship between diabetes and male fertility?
- Sexual dysfunction: Men with high blood sugar are prone to erectile dysfunction causing infertility issues.
- Reduced libido: Blood Glucose is the primary source of your brain’s energy levels. Your brain functions at the optimum level if it can use this fuel. As is well known, the brain has sections responsible for different activities. A lack of glucose in certain parts of the brain causes fatigue and reduced sexual drive, states Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a brilliant IVF Doctor in India.
The implication of type 1 diabetes on male fertility
Diabetes is connected with increased mitochondrial, nuclear, and DNA damage in sperm, reducing male fertility.
The implication of type 2 diabetes on male fertility
Low sperm count and inadequate mobility are associated with type 2 diabetes. In addition, structural damage to sperm DNA has been found.
What is the relationship between diabetes and female fertility?
Genitourinary infections: Diabetics are more susceptible to infections and damage to their reproductive organs, including their fallopian tubes.
High blood sugar in pregnancy may result in a congenital defect in the developing foetus or miscarriage. Macrosomia, often known as the big-baby syndrome, is characterized by excessive blood glucose levels and an oversupply of nutrients for the growing foetus.
Due to anxiety, despair, and weariness, you may encounter a decrease in your sexual drive—absent or diminished sexual desire or vaginal dryness causing discomfort and agony during sexual activity.
Repercussions of type 1 diabetes on female fertility
The first menstruation cycle that a girl gets is termed Menarche. Menarche is delayed in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.
- Menstrual cycle disorders: in women under 30 years of age, type 1 diabetes causes menstrual cycles lasting more than 6 days, sometimes more than a month, and very heavy bleeding.
- Anovulation is the absence of ovulation in post-menarche and premenopausal females. Anovulation can be caused by various conditions, such as hormonal imbalances, ovarian dysfunction, severe mental illness, diabetes, and pituitary failure. Women with diabetes and a low BMI will experience menstrual irregularities, culminating in intracellular starvation (cell starvation) and anovulation.
- Anti-sperm antibodies: Women who have type 1 diabetes have the chance of developing antibodies that can damage the sperm and eggs.
The implication of type 2 diabetes on female fertility
PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome): Usually, postmenopausal women develop Type 2 diabetes, but it has become increasingly prevalent among women of reproductive age. The lifestyle factors such as lack of good food and sufficient exercise leading to obesity are the primary causes of Type 2 diabetes among premenopausal women.
PCOS and menstrual abnormalities are associated with obesity. PCOS leads to an excess of male hormones (androgens), abnormal menstruation cycles/anovulation, and ovarian cysts. 50% to 70% of women with PCOS exhibit insulin resistance.
How is diabetes-associated infertility treated?
The therapy of diabetes for infertility involves improved controlling blood sugar levels, effective control over reproductive hormones, and functionality in both men and women. Examining the medical and family histories of the couple is a standard method for diagnosing and treating infertility.
Adopting healthy changes before conceiving is a time-consuming process, but don’t let it disappoint you.
According to Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a leading IVF doctor in Nagpur, being proactive and implementing a few fundamental lifestyle changes would help you go ahead with your wish to have children.
Your doctor may advise the following alterations to your lifestyle:
- Five times a week of moderate physical activity
- Dietary modification is prudent – no direct sugar. Include millets and fiber in your diet.
- Reduce your body weight by 5 to 10 percent if necessary.
On this trip, it is frequently more advantageous for you and your companion to collaborate. With a shared commitment to achieving your goals, you can reduce your glucose levels in two to three months and move forward with your plan to conceive.
The following medical therapy options are available:
- Medications: Medicine is prescribed to women to treat infection and increase ovulation. Men are prescribed medicine and hormone supplements to treat erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
- Surgical intervention: Surgical intervention might be needed to treat PCOS, trauma injuries, uterine fibroids, and other disorders.
- ART (Advanced reproductive technologies): ART professionals use intracytoplasmic sperm injections and surgical sperm retrieval to deal with male infertility issues.
Women undergo IVF (in vitro fertilization), IUI (intrauterine insemination), and aided laser hatching in a case dealing with infertility.
If you are the type to go the family way, it would be a good idea to reflect on your lifestyle and make adequate changes so that you can become parents naturally without assisted technologies.
The objective is to maintain blood sugar levels within a healthy range so that you can conceive and carry a child to term. Occasionally, the assistance of a fertility specialist may be required.
Please feel free to contact Dr. Hrishikesh Pai for pre-pregnancy counselling if you find it difficult to conceive.