Diabetes is one of the most common medical conditions in India. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are linked to menstrual irregularities and lower fertility rates. According to experts, the reproductive phase of a diabetic woman is considerably shorter than a non-diabetic one. This, in turn, can cause significant problems in conceiving and carrying a baby to term.
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There is a sharp increase in the number of young women that develop diabetes in their reproductive years, and changing diets and lifestyles are largely to blame for this. There are several risks that women with diabetes face. These include:
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS):
A hormonal disorder associated with infertility, hypertension, obesity and ovarian dysfunction
Oligomenorrhea and secondary amenorrhoea:
Types of menstrual irregularities that offset fertility
Studies show that diabetic women are likely to experience menopause four to five years earlier than their non-diabetic counterparts; this can rob them of several years of peak fertility
Diabetes increases the risk of endometrial cancer, which in turn, affects fertility. Women with diabetes in their reproductive years should keep a keen watch for symptoms of endometrial cancer; early diagnosis and treatment can help in fertility preservation
Poorly controlled diabetes and abnormal blood sugar levels are known to be one of the major reasons for miscarriage among women; diabetic women can benefit from early intervention and treatment, and their risk of miscarriage can be appropriately minimised
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High birth weight is a major risk faced by pregnant women with diabetes; the risk of macrosomia can be mitigated by controlling one’s sugar intake, maintaining a healthy diet, regularly monitoring blood sugar levels, and seeking insulin-regulating medication
If you are diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is advisable to seek counsel from a nutritionist to help you make the right food choices and keep your diabetes in check, especially if you’re trying to conceive. Regular checkups can help diagnose health and fertility issues and shine a light on necessary treatment measures.