Diabetes can negatively impact your fertility. Untreated diabetes can lead to kidney damage and decreased sex hormone production leading to impotence, loss of libido and poor sperm quality. It also increases risk of kidney failure and cardiovascular diseases. In a man, high blood sugar level leads to increased production of glucose in the body which temporarily raises testosterone levels. However, this is short-lived as the blood sugar levels start plummeting again, leading to a vicious cycle. In women, high blood sugar leads to a drop in oestrogen production which can have a major impact on your ability to carry a pregnancy as well as your general health.
The good news?
There are various effective lifestyle changes you can make that will reduce your risk of getting diabetes and improve your chances of remaining healthy throughout your life – even if you have been diagnosed with diabetes in the past or are at risk for developing it in the future (i.e., prediabetes).
Here’s everything you need to know about how preventing or managing diabetes before getting pregnant affects fertility:
What happens to your body when you have prediabetes?
If you have prediabetes, your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels remain above what’s considered “normal” but are not high enough yet to be classified as diabetes. The prediabetes stage is a condition in which you have elevated glucose levels but without yet having the symptoms of full-blown diabetes. During this stage, you’re still at risk of developing diabetes, in which blood glucose levels are consistently elevated and you’re at risk of developing an entirely new and often more difficult-to-manage type of diabetes. If you were to develop diabetes in this stage, it would likely be Type 2 diabetes, and you’d be at a much higher risk of complications such as heart disease, kidney damage and injury to your eyes.
Why is preventing prediabetes important for fertility?
If you’re already at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the earlier you begin to prevent it the better. Because diabetes affects fertility in both men and women, it’s important to prevent diabetes as soon as possible. As diabetes progresses, it becomes more difficult to become pregnant and have a healthy baby. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you should be especially diligent about protecting your fertility.
Even if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes in the past and know for sure you don’t want to have kids, you may still want to consider taking measures to maintain your fertility. If you have diabetes and have unprotected intercourse, you run an increased risk of getting an ovarian or fallopian tube rupture, which may lead to serious complications. If you have diabetes, you also run a higher risk of developing endometriosis, a condition in which uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus, which is also a serious fertility risk.
3 Ways to Prevent Prediabetes for Fertility
– Control blood sugar levels through diet and exercise – Diabetes is most often caused by poor diet and lack of exercise. Keeping your blood sugar level as close to normal as possible will decrease your risk of developing diabetes.
– Get screened for diabetes – If you’re at risk of developing diabetes, you should get screened for the condition. If you have diabetes, you should also be especially diligent about controlling your blood sugar and protecting your fertility.
– Get a fertility-friendly diabetes diagnosis – Once you have prediabetes, you can actually prevent it from developing into full-blown diabetes by getting a fertility-friendly diabetes diagnosis. This means that your doctor will take into consideration your overall health and their opinion of your ability to successfully manage diabetes, rather than just basing their prognosis solely on the fact that you have diabetes in the past.
Managing Prediabetes for Fertility
– Don’t smoke – Smoking not only increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but it also decreases your chances of becoming pregnant.
– Lower your blood sugar levels with food and exercise – Again, this is something you want to do whether you have diabetes or not – it’s just even more important if you do have diabetes.
– Don’t take too many medications – Certain medications can lead to increased blood sugar levels. If you’re taking medications such as blood pressure lowering drugs, antidepressants, certain pain medications and certain seizure medications, you want to be especially careful not to take them in high doses or at high doses and/or regularly without consulting your doctor first.
5 Things Only People With Diabetes Need to Know About Fertility and IVF
There are many misconceptions about infertility and diabetes. You likely know that if you have diabetes, you have a higher risk of fertility issues, but you may not know what specific issues you should be most concerned about.
Here are six things only people with diabetes need to know about fertility and IVF:
– Women with diabetes are more likely to have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is a condition in which a woman’s ovaries produce excess male hormones and cause abnormal hair growth, acne, and weight gain.
– Men with diabetes are more likely to have low sperm counts than men without diabetes. This means that their sperm are less likely to survive and fertilize an egg.
– Children with diabetes are more likely to have obesity or other medical issues that affect their fertility.
– You may be able to delay the need for IVF or other assisted reproductive technology if you have diabetes.
– You may also be able to have your child through surrogacy if you have diabetes.
There are many lifestyle changes you can make to prevent diabetes and improve your chances of remaining healthy throughout your life – even if you have been diagnosed with diabetes in the past or are at risk for developing it in the future, such as prediabetes. You can start by controlling your blood sugar levels through diet and exercise, getting screened for diabetes, getting a fertility-friendly diabetes diagnosis, managing your diabetes, and more.