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Birla Fertility & IVF
Birla Fertility & IVF

Diabetes & Infertility

  • Published on September 26, 2022
Diabetes & Infertility

Diabetes and infertility in males are not comorbid conditions. However, having diabetes worsens infertility issues already present in males and females.

Diabetes could result from insufficient insulin production (type 1) or insulin resistance (type 2), while infertility is a clinical issue that impedes reproductive capacity and fertilising virility. 

Diabetes and infertility in females trigger hormonal imbalances, leading to PCOS and oligomenorrhea (irregular menstrual cycle). In men, it causes sexual dysfunction and obesity, which affects sperm quality and reduces overall fertility health. 

Diabetes and infertility in males: How does it impact you?

Male fertility depends on the abundance of healthy sperm (over 15 million per ml of semen). Besides, 40% of sperm must show vigorous motility to reach the ampulla for fertilisation. Following are some conditions related to diabetes and infertility in males:

Erectile dysfunction

Diabetes leads to obesity and a lack of stamina, reducing sensitivity towards sexual urges. This hinders copulation and is among the prime reasons for male infertility. 

Poor libido

Excess glucose reduces sexual urges due to testosterone deficiency. This causes lethargy and weakness, lowering the intensity and reducing copulation frequencies. 

Sperm damage

Diabetes and infertility in males cause poor sperm structure and viability. It damages the mitochondrial DNA, affecting the semen volume. It also reduces the viability, impairing the male sexual potential to ensure successful fertilisation. 

Diabetes and infertility in females: What do you need to know?

Having diabetes and infertility affects women’s reproductive ability besides causing comorbidities (PCOS, obesity, abnormal menstrual cycle).

Women may develop the following reproductive complications when having chronic diabetes:

Vulnerable to urinogenital infections

Diabetic patients develop urinary tract infections (UTI) more frequently, making them vulnerable to reproductive complications besides poor immunity. 

Gestational complications

Excess blood sugar during pregnancy leads to gestational diabetes, a driving factor for developing preeclampsia. 

Diabetes and infertility in females can also harm the developing baby, leading to congenital issues and possibly causing a miscarriage. 

Lower sexual desires

Unlike male libido, female sexual urges depend on hormonal balance. Having diabetes causes vaginal dryness, while anxiety or depression may lead to unpleasant experiences. 

Diabetes and infertility thus reduce the scope for unprotective sex necessary for pregnancy. 

Unstable menstrual cycle

The menstrual cycle has a vital role in planning pregnancy. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause menstrual anomalies such as:

  • Menorrhagia (prolonged menstruation with heavy shedding)
  • Amenorrhoea (absence or delay in the menstrual cycle)
  • Late menarche (delayed onset of the menstrual cycle)

Anovulatory menstruation

Ovulation during the menstrual cycle leaves no chance for natural fertilisation. Excessive anxiety and stress, hormonal imbalance (lower LH levels), and obesity are among the side effects of diabetes and infertility in females

Treating diabetes and infertility in males and females

Diabetes and infertility are not comorbidities. Preventive lifestyle and assisted reproductive technology help keep both conditions under control. This includes:

  • Reducing weight
  • Lowering blood sugar
  • Getting treated for underlying reproductive complications (PCOS, preeclampsia)
  • Using assisted reproductive technology (ART) to manage fertilisation issues

In conclusion

Besides fertility, diabetes can be a serious threat to overall well-being. If you know of any hereditary gestational diabetes or PCOS cases in your family, seek advice from your gynaecologist to ensure a safe pregnancy.

Begin your treatment for diabetes and infertility by visiting your nearest Birla Fertility & IVF centre, or book an appointment today with Dr Swati Mishra to learn more about fertility issues.

FAQs

#1 Can a diabetic man become a father?

Diabetes and infertility do not necessarily prevent a man from fathering a child. Seeking treatment for fertility issues and leading a preventive lifestyle to counter diabetes has led to successful pregnancies.

#2 Does diabetes affect your sperm morphology?

Diabetes affects sperm morphology, sperm count, and semen volume in males. Without treatment, it can lead to permanent infertility. 

#3 Can a diabetic man fertilise a woman?

Both men and women having diabetes can get pregnant while keeping their blood sugar under check and using ART to ensure fertilisation. 

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Written by:
Dr Swati Mishra

Dr Swati Mishra

Consultant
Dr Swati Mishra is an internationally trained obstetrician-gynecologist and reproductive medicine specialist. She has trained and worked at some of the most reputed medical institutions in India and abroad. She has worked as a visiting consultant at multiple reputed reproductive medicine centers across Kolkata and as a chief consultant in ARC Fertility Center, Kolkata. Her unique skills and diverse work experience in India and the USA have made her a respected name in the field of IVF. She is also a trained specialist in all types of laparoscopic, hysteroscopic and operative procedures related to fertility treatment

Over 18 years of experience

Kolkata, West Bengal

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