There are several factors that can negatively influence the fertile potential of men, and one of these factors is diabetes. Although it is a somewhat unknown topic, the relationship between diabetes and male fertility is a reality that should be considered by the male gender when validating their overall health.
When the future father suspects that he suffers from this disease, he should go to the doctor so that he can be instructed on the steps to follow, with the objective of achieving a healthy and effective fertilization.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the level of glucose or sugar in the blood is very high. Glucose comes from food and is the main source of energy in the blood.
Insulin, on the other hand, is a hormone generated by the pancreas that helps glucose enter the cells so that they can use it as energy.
Sometimes the body does not produce the necessary amount of insulin, and sometimes it does not produce insulin at all. It also happens that the body does not have the capacity to use insulin properly, and this causes glucose to remain in the blood without reaching the cells.
Over time, the accumulation of glucose in the blood can lead to health conditions. People with diabetes can take certain steps to keep their blood sugar under control.
It is important to note that all cases of diabetes are considered serious or severe. Therefore, its symptoms and risks should not be overlooked.
There are mainly two types of diabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Causes of type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system, which is responsible for fighting infections, attacks the beta cells of the pancreas and destroys them. These cells have the function of producing insulin.
Experts believe that this type of diabetes is generated by genes, and could be caused or triggered by environmental aspects such as some viruses.
Causes of type 2 diabetes
With regard to type 2 diabetes, the most common diabetes worldwide today, it is known that there are individuals who are at greater risk due to their genetics and family history, and diabetes is triggered if external factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, overweight or obesity and poor eating habits are maintained. If detected in time, it can be practically reversed if the patient achieves an adequate weight, healthy diet and exercise.
Main symptoms of diabetes
Among the various symptoms that may occur when suffering from this disease are the following:
- Increased thirst
- Increased need to urinate.
- Increased appetite.
- Presence of fatigue or tiredness.
- Visibility problems or blurred vision.
- Tingling or numbness of the feet or hands.
- Wound and/or ulcer healing problems.
- Unexplained loss of body weight.
With regard to type 1 diabetes, its symptoms can manifest themselves quickly, within a few weeks. With respect to type 2 diabetes, the onset of symptoms may be progressive and slow, they may manifest themselves over several years, and sometimes they are very mild and not very noticeable.
The number of people with type 2 diabetes who have no symptoms is considerable. Many patients become aware that they suffer from the disease, when health problems linked to diabetes appear.
How diabetes influences male fertility
Diabetes negatively influences fertility in men.
The spermatozoa of males suffering from this disease experience premature aging due to a high concentration of reactive oxygen species within the male reproductive tract. All this generates an oxidative stress in the environment of the male gametes, and consequently causes an affectation in male fertility.
The decrease in male fertile potential as a consequence of diabetes will be reflected in a low capacity to achieve fertilization. In cases where fertilization is achieved, it is possible that a successful term of gestation may not be achieved, and instead a miscarriage may occur, or a great risk of altering the genes of the offspring may occur.
In patients suffering from diabetes there is a lower probability of fixing or repairing the genetic material. This increases the likelihood of a high rate of sperm DNA fragmentation.
On the other hand, if diabetes in men is not controlled, their sexual function may also suffer negative consequences. This obviously affects their fertility level.
Other problems that can arise from diabetes in men include the following:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Ejaculation disorders
- Hypogonadism, which is a shortage of testosterone, with related symptoms such as a lack of sperm production.
The mechanism used to measure fertility in men is the seminogram. And although at the beginning in a diabetic male there might not be any changes in the mentioned test, a decrease in the level of fertility is observed in males suffering from this metabolic pathology. It is relevant to note that these are mainly patients who do not control their diabetes, those with low fertility.
What additional health problems can people with diabetes experience?
Over time, high blood sugar or glucose levels can lead to other health conditions such as:
- Heart diseases
- Kidney disorders
- Various nerve injuries
- Ophthalmologic problems
- Dental diseases
- Injuries to the lower limbs (feet and legs) that increase the risk of amputation.
To minimize the chances of suffering from some of these additional conditions, people can apply certain measures for diabetes.
Tips and recommendations for men with diabetes
In essence, having strict control of diabetes decreases the likelihood of suffering from conditions at all levels and also with regard to male fertility. The advice basically consists of creating healthy and active lifestyle habits:
- Maintain an appropriate body weight and a healthy diet.
- Regularly monitor your glucose levels.
- Performs physical exercise constantly.
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol and drugs.
By taking these recommendations into account, you will be able to reduce the consequences of diabetes.