Diabetes and Fertility
Diabetes is basically a condition where the body is unable to keep blood sugar levels in the normal range. Generally, there are three types of diabetes i.e. Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes
This type of diabetes occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the pancreas where insulin is produced. Insulin is the typical hormone that controls blood sugar levels thereby keeping them in the healthy range. In type 1 diabetes condition, the pancreas is unable to make enough insulin. This is also the reason why daily medication (insulin) is needed to control blood sugar levels.
Type 2 Diabetes
It is basically a progressive condition. This type 2 diabetes occurs over time as the pancreas gradually becomes unable to produce enough insulin to keep the blood sugar levels in the normal range thereby the body becomes resistant to the effects of insulin. Both conditions together result in high blood sugar levels. Also, depending on the severity, type 2 diabetes can be managed with proper diet, exercise and medication.
This is basically the high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth. It can be efficiently managed with a healthy lifestyle which is diet or exercise. While sometimes medication is also needed.
When diabetes is not controlled properly, it can definitely affect the chance of having a baby. In women, diabetes can cause or result in irregular or absent menstrual cycles. While in the case of men population it can cause problems of getting and maintaining erections and lower levels of testosterone or the male hormone. Diabetes can also increase the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth, caesarean section and also the baby might need intensive care after birth.
What Wonders Can A Well-Controlled Blood Sugar Levels Do?
- Well-controlled blood sugar levels can help menstrual cycles become more regular
- Helps in reducing the risk of erection problems
- Helps in increasing men’s testosterone levels
- Helps in boosting libido (Sexual drive)
- Helps in reducing the risk of miscarriage
- It reduces the risk of having an overweight baby and the baby requiring intensive care after birth.
- It reduces the risk of congenital disorder which is a health problem that starts at birth.
- It reduces the risk of stillbirth and neonatal death
The Relief Factor
The good news is that diabetes can be managed to control blood sugar levels. But this basically involves regular and proper monitoring of blood sugar levels, eating a healthy diet, regular physical activity, being or maintaining a healthy weight range, reducing stress and anxiety, and quitting smoking. In a few cases, medication may also be needed. Your general physician can help you with the right information and help you to access the support you need.
Steps to be taken
Probably, it is best to try for a baby when diabetes is well-controlled and there are no other health problems. This will ultimately reduce diabetes-related risks during pregnancy. You can simply visit your doctor or general physician or diabetes specialist as soon as you start thinking about having a baby. This should be done precisely 3 to 6 months before you start trying. It is also often recommended that women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes start taking a high dose of folic acid at least one month before pregnancy and throughout the first trimester.
In case you do become pregnant, see your doctor for a review of your diabetes as soon as possible. Your doctor will suggest ways to manage your diabetes to keep blood sugar levels in the healthy range during your pregnancy. This generally involves:
- Regular monitoring of your blood sugar levels
- Creating a healthy diet plan
- Including some regular physical activity
- Maintaining a healthy weight range
- Reducing stress or anxiety levels
- Quit smoking
No doubt these healthy steps to manage your diabetes may be new for you and might take a while for you to get used to. Various studies show that people who try to improve their lifestyle are much more likely to succeed if they do it with someone else. After taking these steps if you still find difficulty in conceiving you should visit a fertility centre like Oasis. Then, your fertility specialists will monitor your pregnancy and review your current medications to make sure they are safe to take while trying to get pregnant.