If you and your partner have been having unprotected sex for one year and still haven’t gotten pregnant there may be some fertility factors related to diabetes and infertility that you need to start looking at.
When you first talk to your doctor about your inability to conceive one of the first things that will be looked at is the possibility of diabetes. Even if you’re diabetic and you’re able to get pregnant, your pregnancy is still at risk.
Inadequate control of your blood sugars can cause recurrent miscarriages. With so much to think about, it’s important you think about getting tested for diabetes and infertility even before you try to conceive.
Diabetes and infertility can affect all areas of your fertility all the way from conception to giving birth.
How Diabetes and Infertility affects you
Diabetes and infertility can affect your fertility in a number of ways. If you have Type I diabetes the antibodies that your body produces may attack your eggs as well as your partner’s sperm.
With Type I diabetes there is also a reduced function of the body’s immune system which makes you more susceptible to other conditions such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).
Women who are diabetic have an insulin resistance which can greatly decrease their fertility. You’ll need to get your diabetes under control if you want to conceive naturally and without pregnancy complications.
PCOS and Diabetes
Some women who are diabetic may have PCOS due to their blood sugar problems. In PCOS the body produces too much testosterone which can affect the maturation of the eggs in the ovaries.
If you have PCOS you may develop a resistance to insulin and this can lead to irregular periods and problems with your ovulatory system. When menstrual and ovulation cycles are irregular, cysts may grow on the ovaries.
All of these factors together can play a negative role in your fertility and ability to conceive. If you have Type I or Type II diabetes and want to get pregnant, it’s imperative that you work with an endocrinologist and your obstetrician.
Not only do you want to get pregnant, you want to have a risk free and safe pregnancy as well.
The Danger of Miscarriage and Diabetes
Even greater than having difficulty getting pregnant when you’re diabetic is the risk of an early miscarriage. The high levels of glucose in your body can damage the cells of the embryo and cause you to miscarry.
If you don’t know that you’re diabetic or you’re not handling your diabetes correctly you may be at risk for recurring miscarriages. If you’re having recurrent miscarriages it’s important that you be checked for diabetes and infertility.
You may think that you just have a problem with your fertility when in fact you’re getting pregnant but your body is unable to carry the damaged embryo. High levels of blood sugar will severely impair the embryo’s ability to implant itself in the uterus.
The Risks of Type II Diabetes
More and more women and men are developing Type II diabetes in their 30s and 40s. Typically Type II diabetes is the result of lifestyle issues such as a poor diet and little or no exercise.
Obesity is becoming an epidemic around the world in women who are in their childbearing years. Obesity can lead to menstruation and ovulation irregularities making it harder for a woman to conceive.
Obesity is also one of the main causes of Type II diabetes. With this type of diabetes, the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin while at the same time the body isn’t able to use this insulin correctly.
The end result is that the glucose levels build up in the blood and this can cause infertility and other problems with the reproductive system. Again, miscarriage rates are very high in women who have been diagnosed with Type II diabetes.
The good news is that Type II diabetes can be very quickly brought under control by changing your lifestyle to one that is healthier.
Planning your Pregnancy with Diabetes
In order to prevent infertility problems and the risk of miscarriage or birth defects related to diabetes and infertility, it’s important that you start planning for your pregnancy well ahead of time.
Before you try to conceive, have blood testing done to determine your insulin levels. For about 3 to 6 months before you try to get pregnant, you should maintain normal blood sugar levels.
A test known as a haemoglobin A1C (hbA1C) can provide your doctor with a three-month average of your blood sugar levels. This can then be used to determine what you need to do to be as healthy as you can before pregnancy.
Taking control of your blood sugar is the first step towards conception. You’ll need to take exceptional care of yourself both before conception and throughout your entire pregnancy.
Eating a balanced and nutritious diet as well as adding exercise to your day is one of the easiest ways that you can control and manage your blood sugar levels.