The pancreas is a small gland in the body which secrets a hormone called insulin. This insulin is responsible for controlling blood sugar levels. Due to inadequate production of the hormone or other underlying issues, the blood sugar levels may shoot up. This leads to a condition called “hyperglycaemia”. When hyperglycaemia is left uncontrolled, the condition may persist and develop into Type 2 diabetes.
In general terms, Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas does not produce adequate insulin to control blood sugar levels, or the body becomes resistant to insulin. A family history of diabetes, lack of exercise, and prolonged obesity are some common factors contributing to diabetes.
Diabetes and Female Infertility
According to the International Diabetes Federation, there are approximately 246 million adults with diabetes. Most of these patients are postmenopausal women. Due to changes in lifestyle patterns and the prevalence of obesity, however, even the women in their peak reproductive years are on the verge of diabetes. This is because of the strong association between Type 2 diabetes and fertility. It affects the length of the menstrual cycle and increases the age of onset of menopause.
Further, this also corresponds to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) which is a common hormonal disorder in women. A strong relationship between obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, and PCOS contribute to infertility in women.
Diabetes and Male Infertility
Similar to women, men are also equally affected by diabetic infertility. It has been found that diabetes causes contraction of blood vessels resulting in slower circulation. This reduced blood circulation leads to the poor blood supply and even nerve dysfunction. Hence, men with diabetes can experience problems with erection and ejaculation. In some cases, men may also develop retrograde ejaculation in which the sperm backs up in the bladder. Furthermore, diabetes has also been shown to affect the quality of sperm due to DNA damage.
Overall, diabetes is a prime concern for both men and women, especially for those who are trying to conceive. Sometimes it becomes harder to evaluate the reason behind infertility and so blood tests need to be carried out. Our hospital provides a holistic approach to diabetes linked with infertility experts.