World Diabetes Day: Know the impact of diabetes on fertility

Are you diabetic and planning to start a family? If yes, you might have to improve your blood glucose levels before planning a pregnancy. Did you know that diabetes in both men and women can hamper fertility? The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 1.5 million individuals worldwide lost their lives due to diabetes in 2019. There are currently 537 million diabetics living in the world. So, let’s learn about the impact of diabetes on fertility and how to avoid it.

What causes diabetes?

An abnormal insulin level in the body is the primary cause of diabetes. The pancreas produces a hormone called insulin, which regulates the blood sugar levels of your body. As soon as you eat, your blood sugar levels spike, and the body’s insulin is released to manage it. Diabetes happens when the pancreas either does not create enough insulin or the body is unable to use insulin the way it should.

Impact of diabetes on male fertility

Uncontrolled blood glucose levels in the body are one of the many factors that can lead to infertility in men. If left unchecked, high blood sugar levels can make the condition worse. According to the studies, males who do not have diabetes have 25 per cent higher semen levels than those who are diabetic and infertile. Men with diabetes are also more likely to have DNA damage in their sperm. Hence, it is reasonable to state that diabetes can have a significant impact on the fertility of men. They also pose a substantial risk for congenital malformations and miscarriages in unborn children.

pregnancy planning
Diabetes can have a detrimental impact on your mental health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Impact of diabetes on female fertility

When it comes to women, diabetes can make their entire pregnancy process utterly difficult. It causes a lack of glucose regulation in the body, which in turn makes it challenging for viable eggs to implant in the uterus. In addition, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) can be brought on by diabetes in women, which causes the ovaries to grow a significant number of cysts. It also affects your menstrual cycle, the regularity of your periods, and the quantity of testosterone your body produces, all of which lowers the conception rate.

Diabetes also causes early menopause in women, which again reduces their fertility. In fact, there is a higher chance of birth defects even if a woman is able to conceive due to high blood glucose levels and a greater risk of gestational diabetes in the mother, which can harm both the mother and the baby.

Also read: Diabetes may cause unusual changes to your menstrual cycle. Know how

Here’s how to control diabetes to improve fertility

It is crucial to keep an eye on your blood glucose levels. In fact, there are certain medications available to improve the blood flow to reproductive organs. Aside from that, obese people of both sexes must modify their lifestyles in order to lose weight and lower their blood glucose levels.

It is recommended for women to start regulating their sugar levels prior to three months of pregnancy for the sake of a healthy baby. Also, diet control and physical exercises are the most notable ways to manage blood glucose levels.

pregnancy planning
Don’t fret over your fertility if you have diabetes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Way to a safe pregnancy planning

There is no denying the fact diabetes can have an impact on the fertility of both men and women. Hence, on this diabetes day, visit a fertility specialist to plan a safe pregnancy. Get your glucose level checked regularly and go for medications that can help you control it. Besides that, it is essential to incorporate some changes in your lifestyle for the sake of a healthy pregnancy.

Don’t let diabetes become a hindrance in your pregnancy. All you need to do is get insights on the risks involved, work towards curbing them, eat right, and maintain an ideal weight and you will be well on your way to a safe pregnancy.

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