Medical Video: Improving Fertility in Men with Poor Sperm Count | UCLA Urology
You might know that a number of chronic diseases can reduce fertility. But why is diabetes so influential on male fertility? And is there a way to overcome it?
To answer this, we first need to know what is meant by diaetes. Diabetes, often referred to as diabetes mellitus by doctors, is a metabolic disease in which a person has high blood sugar levels, either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body's cells do not respond well to insulin, or both. Patients with high blood sugar levels usually experience polyuria (frequent urination), are easily thirsty (polydipsia), and are easily hungry (polyphagia).
How does diabetes affect male fertility?
Research shows that men with type 1 diabetes may have more DNA damage in their sperm, which can inhibit fertility.
This is only a small study and does not prove that type 1 diabetes causes infertility in men. In comparison, the researchers also studied semen and blood samples from 29 men without diabetes who had undergone an infertility test. As a result, men with diabetes have lower semen volumes than men without diabetes. But the semen volume of patients with diabetes is still within the normal range set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The number, shape, movement (motility) of sperm from men with diabetes 1 are the same as normal men without diabetes. But when researchers analyzed sperm DNA, they found more DNA damage to the sperm of men with diabetes. "Sperm damage can increase infertility," concludes the researchers.
Many factors can cause DNA damage. However, what is still unclear is whether diabetes really contributes to DNA damage seen in the study
This study did not involve men without diabetes who had never undergone an infertility test. According to the researchers, these men may have less DNA damage to their sperm than a group of men who were the subjects of the study.
So what do you mean?
Simply put: a man who has diabetes and doesn't control his glucose level will have less chance to impregnate his partner. And when he has successfully fertilized his partner until the pregnancy occurs, the risk of miscarriage and birth defects may be much higher.
How do you handle it?
If you have diabetes, it's only natural that you wonder if it's safe for you to try to get your baby right now. It's important to understand what risks will affect fertility if your sugar levels are left high. But it's also important to understand that as long as we keep glucose levels normal, this can reduce risk and increase the chance to get pregnant safely and produce healthy babies.
The key to a successful pregnancy is of course by consulting your endocrinologist and obstetrician to make sure your glucose levels remain stable for several months before trying to get pregnant, and also during pregnancy. With good planning and dedication to eating the right and healthy food, the chance to get a baby is higher, even if you have diabetes.
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