Diabetes & Infertility

woman holding pregnancy test(BlackDoctor.org) — While diabetes can contribute to infertility for both men and women, controlling it seems to help fertility challenges and improve outcomes for pregnancy.

Recent studies have linked diabetes with male infertility. Uncontrolled diabetes seems to damage the DNA in sperm cells and cause fertility problems, including a higher rate of miscarriages due to genetic problems.

Women with uncontrolled diabetes are more likely to have fertility problems as well. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common causes of infertility and is associated with impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance. Many women with PCOS are also diabetic or pre-diabetic. When insulin resistance is controlled through diet, exercise and in some cases use of diabetes drugs, fertility tends to improve. For women with diabetes, good blood sugar control improves pregnancy rates and the success rate of pregnancy.

Once a woman becomes pregnant, diabetes or gestational diabetes (triggered by pregnancy) can lead to an increased risk of
miscarriage, premature birth and birth defects. High blood sugar levels can also lead to larger than average birth weight and respiratory distress after birth. But when diabetes is well-managed, many of these effects can be controlled as well.

If you have diabetes, or suspect that you may have insulin resistance or pre-diabetes, talk to your doctor about what you can do to improve your blood sugar and insulin levels. Most often, doctors recommend a combination of diet, exercise and medication to control diabetes. If you are pregnant, it is important to talk to your doctor about diabetes as early as possible to prevent problems.

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