Diabetes, commonly known as diabetes mellitus, is a condition that is characterised by high blood sugar levels. This can be because of inadequate insulin production or because the body′s cells do not respond correctly to the insulin or can be both. Insulin makes it possible for the glucose to enter the cells in the body, without glucose in the cells they would not be able to function normally.

The GCC countries have one of the highest rates of Diabetes worldwide. This number is expected increase by more than 80 percent by 2035, as reported on World Diabetes Day in 2014.

There are three types of Diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes Is a form of diabetes mellitus that results from the autoimmune destruction, i.e., the body has destroyed his/her insulin- producing beta cells in the pancreas. People who have Diabetes Type 1 cannot produce insulin on their own.

Type 2 Diabetes Is a metabolic disorder characterised by hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) in the context of insulin resistance and relative lack of insulin. This condition is most common in people who are overweight or obese. In the case of insulin resistance, the body is producing insulin, but sensitivity is reduced and is not as efficient as it′s supposed to be.

Gestational Diabetes Is a condition that may affect women during pregnancy. In this condition, women have due to the changes during pregnancy have high levels of glucose in the blood. This is because the amount of insulin in the body is not enough to transport all the glucose into the cells. Most women with gestational diabetes don′t remain diabetic after the baby is born.

But in the long-term they have a higher risk of developing Diabetes mellitus Type 2 later in their life. If the blood sugar levels are not well controlled during pregnancy, this will have a negative impact on the health of mother and baby during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes may result in altered fetal growth, polyhydramnion (excess amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac), fetal loss and congenital deformity.

Also, hypocalcemia (decreased calcium level) and reduced bone mineral content are found in neonates of diabetic mothers.

Diabetes and Infertility

Diabetes might affect, either directly or indirectly, various functions of the reproductive system. It can affect both the male and female reproductive systems, but it is not necessary that it will prevent spontaneous pregnancy.

Fertility Issues in Women with Diabetes

As women with diabetes are often overweight or obese, they have a higher risk to have an imbalance of the hormones, regulating the menstrual cycle, with an increase of the male hormones. This might lead to irregular cycles, anovulation and infertility, moreover, diabetic women do have significantly lower ovarian reserve as non-diabetic women.

Additionally, due to the weight many women with diabetes experience sexual problems. This includes decrease in sexual libido, desire for sexual activity, reduced vaginal lubrication resulting in vaginal dryness, low sexual response can include the inability to become or remain aroused, reduced or no sensation in the genital area, constant or occasional inability to reach orgasm and uncomfortable or painful sexual intercourse.

Causes of sexual problems in women with diabetes include nerve damage, reduced blood flow to genital and vaginal tissues and hormonal changes.

Fertility Issues in Men with Diabetes

A number of issues can cause infertility in men. Erectile dysfunction is a common problem associated with diabetes that causes difficulty with getting or maintaining an erection. It is caused by nerve damage and reduced blood circulation typically as a result of less well controlled diabetes or long-standing diabetes.

Ejaculation problems can also occur if nerves in the penis become damaged. Lack of nerve sensitivity is one the problems that can affect the ability to ejaculate.

Another problem that may result from neuropathy (nerve damaged) is retrograde ejaculation. This occurs if nerves are unable to control the muscles of the bladder from closing the point of ejaculation, which results in semen entering the bladder rather than exiting through the penis. Retrograde ejaculation does not cause health problems but can impair conception. Moreover, diabetes does have a negative impact on sperm quality.

Diabetes Management

Keeping the blood sugar levels within range can be challenging. Eating healthy foods is key to healthy living- with or without diabetes. Learn how foods affect the blood sugar levels. By avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages and making every meal well-balanced as much as possible can be used as an efficient management.

Physical activity is another important part of the diabetes management plan. Regular physical activity also helps the body to use insulin more efficiently.

Insulin and other diabetes medications are designed to lower your blood sugar levels when diet and exercise alone are not sufficient for managing diabetes. Always check with the doctor before taking any new medications to know how it may impact the blood sugar level.

Further information will be discussed in our out-patient clinic during your consultation. Please book an appointment with our specialist.

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