When it comes to diabetes and infertility, chances are higher in males. Diabetes directly affects the fertility in the human body. You need to understand the whole depth of the disease and risks associated with it.
India has been declared as the ‘Diabetes Capital’ of the world in a recent report by IDF (International Diabetes Federation). It has also stated that India’s 9 per cent population is expected to be diabetic by 2030. Diabetes is a chronic disease. There are two major reasons for it- when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the cells in the body do not respond adequately to insulin produced. It is not difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise which will easily help you in combating the disease. It is important to keep your blood glucose level in control. But it is the most important when you are planning to start a family. Recent reports have shown that diabetes can cause infertility in males. It is advisable to keep your glucose level in check before it affects your sex life leading to infertility.
Reproductive side effects of diabetes in males
Diabetes directly affects the fertility in the human body. The chances of infertility are higher in males. The scientific reason behind the same is that the oxidative stress caused due to high glucose level damages the DNA of the sperm. Thus, DNA gets damaged and fragmented.
This causes a natural death of the cells which in turn makes it difficult for men to make their
wives pregnant. Thus it is necessary that you keep a check on blood glucose level. Not only this, high blood glucose level lowers the testosterone (a hormone controlling sexual drive in males) level as well making diabetes one of the major reasons that kill your sexual drive.
Another condition affecting the fertility in males is the ‘Retrograde Ejaculation’. Men who suffer from this are unable to process a full-fledged ejaculation of sperms as the semen goes back into the bladder instead of being ejaculated normally during sex. Sperm count in the semen may be normal, but the ejaculated sperm count remains low. The nerve damage prevents them from tightening and thus the ejaculated semen drops back into the bladder.
Diabetes if uncontrolled may cause erectile dysfunction as it will affect the nerves and small blood vessels that lead to ejaculation. It can be controlled with proper health checkup and medications. These medications improve the blood flow to the reproductive organs thereby leading to an erection. This whole condition of erectile dysfunction and cell damage is called impotence.
There are drugs that tighten the bladder muscles might help send the ejaculated sperms in the right direction. Assisted reproduction techniques help in removing the sperms from the bladder. Although in vitro fertilization procedures have made the process of fertilization man-made and controllable. Obesity is also one of the major reasons why blood glucose levels rise. Thus, losing weight can improve your sperm count by keeping blood glucose level within a normal safety range.
Should you try and conceive if you are suffering from diabetes?
It often makes diabetic partners wonder whether it is safe to make the partner conceive and
get pregnant at all. You need to understand the whole depth of the disease and risks associated with it. You just cannot simply put the life you are planning to welcome or the existing one at risk. There are chances that you try to control your glucose levels from high to normal and it gets back on track but the possibilities are, to be honest very little.
Thanks to the science for its medical advancements. If you cannot conceive naturally or believe your partner’s life to be at risk even if you try to you can definitely adopt the scientific and medical way of doing it. In-Vitro Fertilization that we all refer as IVF is a very effective treatment when it comes to combating infertility issues. Although this method is not suitable for all kinds of infertility is but is the best option for treating infertility of almost all causes except female infertility that is caused due to uterus problems.
By: DR. PRITI GUPTA
Consultant Fertility & IVF, First Step IVF Clinic