Health experts are issuing a warning this week that diabetes may be linked with infertility in both women and men. It is an important announcement since infertility can affect as much as 15 percent of the global reproductive-age population. As a matter of fact, World Health Organization estimates suggest an overall prevalence of primary infertility (in India) could be somewhere between 4 and 17 percent.
But while both genders at equal risk for diabetes-related infertility, the condition is different in each gender. New Delhi’s Fortis Hospital consultant Roopak Wadha comments, “Diabetes in men damages DNA of the sperm and leads to reduced number of sperms and reduced motility of sperms which leads to infertility.”
Now, this does not necessarily lead to infertility but it can certainly decrease fertility. However, it appears that complications from diabetes can also result in a complicated male issue known as retrograde ejaculation. This is when semen is ejaculated into the bladder instead of expelled from the body.
Wadha goes on to explain how diabetes affects infertility in women: “Diabetes causes a lack of glucose control in the body which, in turn, can make the implantation of the fertile egg in the uterus difficult.”
This means that the risk for miscarriage increases between 30 and 60 percent among women with diabetes.
In addition, though, diabetes also puts women at elevated risk for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. This conditions affects hormone levels that can affect other health metrics like weight, menstrual cycles, skin, and sexual health. It can also result in pain during sex and, of course, lead to many other more complicated health issues. Diabetes also appears to increase risk for urinary tract infection and inflammation.
Wadha adds, “It can also cause intra-uterine growth retardation (IUGR) and congenital anomalies. IUGR is a condition where an unborn baby is smaller than it should be because it is not growing at a normal rate inside the womb.” They are also at higher risk for premature delivery, spontaneous abortion, and perinatal complications.
Regardless of gender, though, diabetes could also result in things like a loss of energy and stamina. Constant and persistent tiredness and fatigue is definitely a characteristic of diabetes and this can also have adverse effects on sexual health.