Diabetes is known to come along with various other disorders that are bound to happen in near future if required lifestyle and dietary changes are not followed rigorously. It tends to affect other organs in a significant way by reducing their normal functionality. Fertility is one of the issues that gets affected by both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in men and women.
Effects on male fertility
1. Erectile dysfunction - Problem maintaining a steady erection or gaining an erection. Since high glucose levels affect the nerve endings and blood vessels, the nerves in penis get weak and the blood circulation also reduces. This affects the ability to penetrate. If smoking and alcohol are involved along with diabetes, it is advisable to quit those habits to ensure further deterioration of the condition.
2. Low sex drive - The testosterone levels drastically reduce due to blood glucose increase, causing loss of interest.
3. Problems with ejaculation - The volumes of ejaculate gets lowered. There will be delayed ejaculation or no ejaculation at all. Sometimes the ejaculate may escape into the bladder rather than the penis (called retrograde ejaculation) thus impairing conception
4. Reduced sperm quality - Studies have shown that the DNA of the sperm gets fragmented/broken in severe cases of diabetes, thus reducing the quality.
Effects on female fertility
1. Oligomenorrhea and secondary amenorrhea - Delay in periods or absence of periods. If the normal cycle is delayed after 35 days, or, if one had normal cycles in past and didn't encounter any in the last 6 months, it is a possibility that diabetes is one of the reasons. Can be caused in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes
2. Miscarriage - The high sugar levels sometimes do not affect the process of conception but tend to affect the maintenance of pregnancy. Here the implantation (process of embryo attaching to uterus wall) might not be proper or the uterus just repels the embryo causing loss of baby.
3. Premature menopause - This is highly caused by Type 1 Diabetes, where the menopause is caused before 40 years of age.