Diabetes can cause infertility according to health experts around the world. Till now there was no concrete evidence but according to the latest research, diabetes poses a huge risk of causing infertility in affected parents. Here’s what you can do to avoid it.
How can diabetes cause infertility
Insulin is the main hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar levels in the body. There are two ways in which the body cannot regulate blood sugar levels: either the body stops producing insulin altogether (type-1 diabetes) or alternatively it cannot manage the blood sugar levels leading to a serious condition called “hyperglycemia“.
In diagnosis terms, this is known as diabetes mellitus. Due to our stressful lives & unhealthy lifestyle habits, it can cause unnecessary weight gain and obesity. The risk of infertility in people affected by this condition has now been confirmed as high.
Be it any gender, diabetes can cause unwanted harm during pregnancy to the mother as well as the newborn. In some cases, it has been confirmed that most type-1 diabetes mothers would end up passing the gene to their child as well. And let’s not keep aside the risk of a miscarriage, stillbirths, child growth issues, etc.
There has been a steady increase in the number of cases of children with prediabetes & diabetes symptoms. It has been noted that in most cases one of the parents would already be affected by one of the two types of diabetes. This can hamper their chances of having a baby as well.
Fertility doctors are amazed by the increase in such cases and have called it a matter of “grave concern”. The risk of sperm DNA damage remains higher for diabetics; which can lead to miscarriage.
Diabetes & Obesity
Obesity causes testosterone levels to drop, which further leads to reduction in the frequency of intercourse and the probability of conception. Since diabetes also affects the heart and damages blood vessels, it can cause erectile dysfunction and sperm count which harms fertility as well.
High blood sugar levels also lead to infections in general. One such common infection leads to swelling and tenderness in the foreskin known as “balanitis”. This also affects fertility.
So even though obesity is a major factor, it would be wrong to assume that’s the only thing that leads to this issue.
Precautions for Diabetics with Pregnancy
It’s ideal to visit your doctor for some regular check-ups at least 3-6 months before you try for pregnancy. And this goes for both to-be parents.
2.5 mg of high dose folic acid is recommended for women with type-1 diabetes at least a month before pregnancy.
Some of the most basic precautions one can take are as follows:
- Start monitoring your blood sugar levels every day
- Create a health-focused diet chart
- Start working out on a daily basis
- Workout to get to your optimum weight range
- Reduce stress and anxiety. Meditation always helps
- Quit smoking ASAP
While some of the above might seem like efforts initially. But if you take one little step at a time, you can manage better. The doctors tend to give medications that work safely during pregnancy, so make sure you follow their advice.
There’s nothing uncontrollable about diabetes. The problems with diabetes tend to arise when it goes undetected and is not worked upon after diagnosis. In the worst cases of untimely treatment of diabetes, it can even kill you.
For couples that are trying to get pregnant, they need to be a little more careful. With a little bit of planning and correction in lifestyle, both can have a healthy pregnancy and baby that might have a lot less tendency of contracting diabetes.
Diabetes can cause infertility but with the right advice and precautions, it can also be managed really well.