5 Diabetic Factors That Can Affect Male Fertility: Diabetes mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar levels due to insulin deficiency or resistance. While the impact of diabetes on various aspects of health is well-known, its effects on male fertility have gained significant attention. Obesity, which is closely associated with diabetes and often a result of a sedentary lifestyle, also has an impact on sperm quality
Several studies have analyzed the relationship between diabetes and male reproductive health, diabetes can affect sperm content, hormonal balance, sexual function and reproductive adverse effects organs.
On this Men’s Day, it’s important to shed light on the impact of diabetes on male fertility. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes significantly impact aspects of male reproductive health. In this article, we will examine five factors of diabetes that can affect male fertility.
1. Sperm Quality and Function
Diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, has been found to have detrimental effects on sperm quality. Studies have shown that diabetes is associated with lower total sperm count, reduced sperm motility, abnormal sperm morphology, and impaired sperm DNA integrity. These factors can significantly impact fertility by reducing the chances of successful fertilization and conception. Maintaining good glycemic control is crucial to mitigate the potential damage to sperm quality and enhance fertility outcomes.
2. Hormonal Imbalances
Diabetes can disrupt the delicate hormonal balance required for normal reproductive function in males. The hormonal imbalances associated with diabetes can further contribute to structural injuries in the male reproductive system, such as testicular atrophy and seminiferous tubule damage. It can lead to reduced levels of testosterone, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). These hormonal imbalances can contribute to impaired spermatogenesis (sperm production) and negatively affect fertility.
3. Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common sexual problem associated with diabetes. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and nerves, leading to reduced blood flow to the penis and impaired erectile function. ED can significantly impact fertility by hindering the ability to achieve and maintain an erection necessary for successful sexual intercourse.
4. Seminal Vesicle Dysfunction
Diabetes can also affect the seminal vesicles, which are responsible for producing and secreting seminal fluid. Seminal vesicle dysfunction can lead to a decrease in semen volume, altered pH levels, and reduced sperm viability. These changes can affect the ability of sperm to survive and fertilize an egg.
5. Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
Diabetes is associated with increased oxidative stress and chronic inflammation throughout the body. These factors can have detrimental effects on the male reproductive system. Oxidative stress can lead to DNA damage in sperm, impairing their quality and function. Chronic inflammation can disrupt normal testicular function and interfere with sperm production.
In conclusion, diabetes can significantly affect male fertility through various mechanisms. However, it’s important to note that the impact of diabetes on male fertility may vary. Men with diabetes must be aware of these potential complications and take proactive measures to optimize their reproductive health. Managing diabetes and optimizing glycemic control, seeking appropriate medical interventions for sexual problems, and regularly monitoring semen parameters are essential steps for managing fertility concerns in individuals with diabetes.
Lifestyle modifications, including regular exercise, a healthy diet, and weight management, can help improve both diabetes management and reproductive outcomes. Additionally, Individuals with diabetes should consult with healthcare professionals regarding their reproductive health concerns.
On this Men’s Day, let us encourage open conversations about men’s reproductive health, promote awareness about the potential impact of diabetes on male fertility, and support individuals in managing their overall well-being.
Dr. Nisha Bhatnagar, Medical Director & SR. IVF Consultant, Aveya Fertility Clinic