Whether it is Type 1 diabetes (T1DM) where there is a slack of insulin production by the pancreas or Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) in which the insulin produced is not used by the body, there are fertility complications that result from both diabetes conditions in both men and women.
In women, there are complications seen such as delayed puberty, delayed or early menstruation cycles (primary or secondary amenorrhoea), difficulty to conceive (infertility) and successful pregnancies (fecundity). The following conditions are associated with fertility in women due to diabetes.
Due to the underlying diabetic condition, which is displayed as tiredness, anxious state or depression, women often have a decreased libido. This is shown in the form of a dry vagina during sexual intercourse which makes it a painful experience for women.
Infections in the Genital System
Women with diabetes are more prone to repeated infections of the genital organs such as fallopian tubes, ovaries, etc.
Complications in Pregnancy
Defects in the conceived fetus and miscarriages are common in diabetic women. The high levels of blood glucose in the woman’s body lead to ‘the big baby syndrome’ or ‘Macrosomia’.
There are different ways in which T1DM and T2DM affect fertility in women.
With T1DM, there are menstrual cycle disturbances such as heavy menstruation, longer menstruation cycles of more than 31 days and longer menstruation time of more than 6 days. Women younger than 29 years develop menstrual complications like menarche. Anovulation is another condition seen in diabetic women when ovulation does not take place in time. The condition is displayed as irregular periods where the lack of nutrients causes the fertility cells to starve. The concentration of Gonadotropins is lowered as a result of which the Luteinising Hormone levels are decreased. The Prolactin levels in the body get affected which causes disturbed ovulation timings. Sometimes, the antibodies produced due to the diabetic condition harms the sperms entering the body and subsequently the eggs. To know more, visit Manipal Hospitals, diabetes and endocrinology hospital in Bangalore.
With men, there is sexual dysfunction seen due to diabetes in which the men have Erectile Dysfunction. Also, the constant lack of glucose availability to the brain can cause decreased libido and tiredness. With T1DM, there is sperm damage seen in men with DNA damage. The sperm produced may have a negative impact on the reproductive capacity of men.
With T2DM, a condition called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is seen. Here there are male hormones produced in the body that lead to the formation of cysts on the surface of the ovaries. This leads to irregular menstruation cycles and no ovulation taking place thus affecting the fertility of the woman. Most women who have PCOS suffer from T2DM. Coupled with PCOS, these women mostly have lowered levels of Adiponectin hormone which leads to obesity. Therefore most women with PCOS have diabetes with obesity which is a highly threatening condition to their fertility prospects.
With T2DM, the concentration of sperm is lowered considerably along with low sperm motility. The sperms are also seen to be damaged in their structure and formation.
Treatment for infertility includes Advanced Reproductive Technology (ART) for men in which sperm retrieval technology is used. Micro TESE is commonly carried out with or without intracytoplasmic sperm injections. Insemination into the uterus is done in women in vitro, laser hatching, or in vitro fertilization too. Book an appointment to consult with the doctors regarding diabetes treatment.