Find A Doctor Common Conditions Recipes Forums Magazine

Home > Magazine > Connection Between Diabetes and Infertility

Featured Medical Providers

Logo
www.DiabetesIQ.com

Connection Between Diabetes and Infertility

Connection Between Diabetes and Infertility

  By: Editors at DiabetesIQ  |  Published: May 17, 2021   
Published: May 17, 2021   

© Katarzyna Bialasiewicz | Dreamstime.com


Diabetes is known to affect both men's and women's ability to conceive a baby. This is because diabetes is a condition that affects fertility and reproductive health in both genders by causing hormonal disruptions. These, in turn, can lead to delayed or failed implantation, which results in infertility. Moreover, diabetes is also associated with poor quality of sperm and DNA damage.

 

Diabetes and female infertility

Studies of the metabolic effects of type 1 and type 2 diabetes on the female reproductive system have shown that there is a relationship between diabetes and menstrual disturbances, such as delayed menarche, changes in the menstrual rhythm and potential consequences on fertility.

 

Here are the main ways diabetes affects a woman's fertility:

 

  • Diabetic women are more susceptible to genitourinary infections that can lead to damage of their reproductive organs, especially their fallopian tubes.
      
  • Diabetes typically causes tiredness, depression, and anxiety, which results in a decreased libido. Moreover, diabetic women may also experience less vaginal lubrication, which leads to pain and discomfort during sex.
      
  • Pregnancy complications are common in women with diabetes, mostly because high blood glucose levels may lead to miscarriage or congenital defects in the fetus.
      
  • Type 1 diabetes is associated with longer and heavier menstruation and anovulation, which is the absence of ovulation when it is normally expected.
      
  • Type 2 diabetes often causes obesity, which is also associated with irregular menstrual cycles. Obesity may also cause polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which often results in irregular menstrual cycles and anovulation. Studies have shown that between 50 and 70% of women diagnosed with PCOS are also insulin resistant. 

 

Besides causing multiple issues when it comes to conceiving, abnormal glucose levels may also cause health concerns for both the mother and baby after conception. Type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes all affect the health of the mother and baby, with the most common consequence of poor blood sugar control being the risk for miscarriage.

Moreover, uncontrolled gestational diabetes may lead to an increased risk for a C-section, an extra-large baby, preeclampsia, and hypoglycemia in the baby. Even though a couple of decades ago women with diabetes or uncontrolled blood sugar were told that being pregnant would not be safe, today it is possible to have a healthy child with medical support and by monitoring blood glucose levels within a safe range.

 

Diabetes and male infertility 

Diabetes also affects male fertility, typically via decreased libido and sexual dysfunction. One of the consequences of diabetes on the male reproductive system is the fact that it reduces the ability to maintain an erection, which leads to infertility. Moreover, the lack of glucose in certain areas of the brain may cause weakness, fatigue, and less sexual drive in men, which can also complicate plans of starting a family.

Diabetes is also associated with sperm DNA damage, which may impair the ability to conceive. Moreover, men who have been diagnosed with type II diabetes may also experience poor sperm concentration in semen and structural damage to the sperm and its DNA.

 

What are the main treatment options for infertility caused by diabetes?

Treating infertility with diabetes for both men and women involves enhanced control over blood sugars and reproductive hormones and functions. If you're experiencing fertility problems as a person who has been diagnosed with diabetes, you will typically work with an endocrinologist, who may suggest various treatment options such as oral medications and or insulin. Sometimes, your endocrinologist may also suggest associated treatment options such as weight loss surgery.

Infertility treatments may start with medications that treat sexual intercourse issues such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation in men and stimulate ovulation or treat infections in women. Surgical management may be essential in cases of PCOS or uterine fibroids. In some cases, advanced reproductive technologies may be required to treat infertility in individuals diagnosed with diabetes. Sperm retrieval procedures for men and intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization for women are some examples of advanced reproductive technologies that may help people with diabetes conceive.

Pregnancy is possible with diabetes, but it requires good planning and sometimes treatment for both men and women. Pregnant women with diabetes are typically monitored not just by their gynecologist but also by an endocrinologist to make sure that their blood sugar levels are in a good range to maintain the pregnancy to full term. 

 

If you have diabetes and are experiencing issues trying to conceive, it's important to let your endocrinologist know so you can discuss the right options for you. Miscarriage as a result of diabetes is common, particularly if the diabetes has not been well managed before and during the pregnancy. As such, it's vital to work with your doctors and achieve good control of your blood glucose levels before trying to conceive.


AS SEEN ON

AS SEEN ON

Do you have any questions about your diabetes condition or general questions about diabetes? You can now post those questions in DiabetesIQ Forum and have our diabetes experts answer your questions for FREE! Yes, there is absolutely no catch! - Registration only takes a few seconds and it's FREE. No credit card needed. You can ask any number of diabetes questions, all for FREE! Register today and join the conversation!

Find Best Doctors Near You
Latest In Forums
Latest In Forums
Topic Started By Posts Last Poster
Have high risk of diabetes, need advice
January 22, 2021 at 7:13 PM
dave
2
June 23, 2021 at 2:07 AM
ShimaRDN
Have high risk of diabetes, need advice
January 22, 2021 at 7:13 PM
dave
I have LADA. Any advice?
January 18, 2021 at 11:21 PM
freddie_57
1
January 18, 2021 at 11:21 PM
freddie_57
I have LADA. Any advice?
January 18, 2021 at 11:21 PM
freddie_57
Sugar numbers jump
January 16, 2021 at 8:11 PM
alexrod
1
January 16, 2021 at 8:11 PM
alexrod
Sugar numbers jump
January 16, 2021 at 8:11 PM
alexrod
High blood test results - what to do?
January 15, 2021 at 1:16 PM
mike22
1
January 15, 2021 at 1:16 PM
mike22
High blood test results - what to do?
January 15, 2021 at 1:16 PM
mike22
Why my sugar jumped so high?
January 14, 2021 at 8:03 AM
jack5
1
January 14, 2021 at 8:03 AM
jack5
Why my sugar jumped so high?
January 14, 2021 at 8:03 AM
jack5
How to push my sugar down?
January 14, 2021 at 5:28 PM
frankie_a
1
January 14, 2021 at 5:28 PM
frankie_a
How to push my sugar down?
January 14, 2021 at 5:28 PM
frankie_a
Explain my test results
January 13, 2021 at 7:51 AM
johnny11932
1
January 13, 2021 at 7:51 AM
johnny11932
Explain my test results
January 13, 2021 at 7:51 AM
johnny11932
What burning off insulin means?
January 13, 2021 at 4:14 PM
sammy_v
1
January 13, 2021 at 4:14 PM
sammy_v
What burning off insulin means?
January 13, 2021 at 4:14 PM
sammy_v
What's the experinece of using a pump?
January 13, 2021 at 11:51 PM
ali27
1
January 13, 2021 at 11:51 PM
ali27
What's the experinece of using a pump?
January 13, 2021 at 11:51 PM
ali27
When my blood sugar will start going down?
January 12, 2021 at 10:10 PM
a_lawrence
1
January 12, 2021 at 10:10 PM
a_lawrence
When my blood sugar will start going down?
January 12, 2021 at 10:10 PM
a_lawrence
Find Best Doctors Near You
Expert advice & latest treatment information!
Get FREE Diabetes Newsletter.
By subscribing to our newsletter, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Featured Diabetic-Friendly Recipes

Featured Diabetic-Friendly Recipes

Raspberry Lemonade

Raspberry Lemonade

Filet Mignon with Creamy and Pepper Sauce

Filet Mignon with Creamy and Pepper Sauce

Warm Tofu with Hot Garlic Sauce

Warm Tofu with Hot Garlic Sauce

Featured Articles

Featured Articles

Taco Bell for People with Diabetes - Everything You Need to Know!

Taco Bell for People with Diabetes - Everything You Need to Know!

Diabetes Urological Care. Why People with Diabetes Need to See a Urologist.

Diabetes Urological Care. Why People with Diabetes Need to See a Urologist.

Pizza Hut for People with Diabetes - Everything You Need to Know!

Pizza Hut for People with Diabetes - Everything You Need to Know!

Featured Articles

Expert advice & latest treatment information!
Get FREE Diabetes Newsletter.
By subscribing to our newsletter, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Go To Top