Getting pregnant and having babies is a beautiful dream which every couple wishes to cherish but for some couples with preexisting diabetes, getting pregnant is a big decision that requires a lot of thought and planning. The couples suffering from diabetes (both or either of them having diabetes) always have a question whether or not it is safe for them to try for pregnancy. Diabetes is a condition in which the person suffers from high blood sugar levels either due to inadequate insulin production in the body or because the body cells are unable to respond properly to insulin, or both.
Type 1 Diabetes – when the body is unable to produce insulin. Type 1 constitutes almost 10% of all the diabetic cases.
Type 2 Diabetes – when the body is unable to produce sufficient amount of insulin for its proper functioning. Type 2 constitutes almost 90% of all the diabetic cases.
Gestational Diabetes – when pregnant women develop high blood sugar levels during their pregnancy. Depression, pre-eclampsia(high blood pressure and significantly huge amount of protein in urine) and C-section are few of the the risks involved with gestational diabetes. If treated poorly, the baby could be born with low blood sugar level and jaundice and if left untreated, it could lead to a stillbirth.
Since diabetes increases the chances of complications in pregnancy, the patient should opt for the best IVF centre for proper care and planning on how to control diabetes for an uneventful pregnancy and healthy babies.
Understanding Diabetes in the Couple:
Effect of Diabetes in Women:
According to the fertility doctors, diabetes does not stop the women from getting pregnant, but it keeps them from sustaining the pregnancy. It prevents embryo implantation in the uterus, leading to a miscarriage. High blood sugar can also increase the possibilities of the baby having birth defects( like defects in the heart, brain or spine), weighing too much, having breathing problems, having low blood sugar levels or may even lead to a stillbirth. So, diabetes does not hinder conception, but it does hinder an ongoing pregnancy and childbirth.
Effect of Diabetes in Men:
Men are not safe as well, they also experience infertility issues caused due to diabetes. The following conditions are more likely to be seen in men with uncontrolled diabetes:
Erectile dysfunction – Diabetes lowers down the testosterone level in the body and causes difficulty in getting or maintaining an erection.
Retrograde ejaculation- the condition where semen is pushed in the man’s own urinary bladder rather than exiting through the penis.
Lower sex drive- it is caused due to low testosterone levels due to diabetes.
Reduced sperm quality- diabetes can even lead to reduced sperm quality but there is no harm to the fertility of the man and motility of the sperm (movement of sperm towards the egg).
Controlling Diabetes before IVF:
Before beginning the IVF treatment it is necessary to control sugar levels in the women’s body first. The following guidelines, if followed religiously proves to be efficient in controlling diabetes for a healthy and smooth pregnancy:
- Diabetes management with IVF in a woman can be achieved by a co-ordination between her infertility specialist and endocrinologist.
- Reducing down the body weight to a normal range. Since excess weight makes it harder to control glucose levels in the body.
- Before attempting IVF, A1C levels should be below 6.5. The A1C test determines the blood sugar present in the blood by measuring the amount of glycated hemoglobin(glucose combined with haemoglobin in the bloodstream).
- In order to prepare the body for pregnancy, sugar levels should be controlled at least for 3 to 6 months.
- Following a good diet plan, eating right and staying healthy makes good chances of an uneventful pregnancy despite of the woman being a diabetic.
What IVF Specialists suggest:
Infertility Specialists educate their patients about diabetes and IVF and encourage them to follow a healthy lifestyle before beginning the treatment and getting pregnant. Eating a heathy and nutritious diet, exercising and staying active, losing weight, monitoring blood sugar levels and including vitamin supplements is advised. If all these efforts doesn’t seem to be working, then fertility improving medications may be prescribed.
While opting IVF with diabetes, it is important that no diagnostic treatments and tests are missed out. All the blood tests required for the diagnosis are mandatory before beginning the fertility treatment. This is to check any imbalance in the blood sugar levels, so that it can be treated initially itself.
With accurate guidance, maintenance of one’s health and well monitored blood sugar and hormonal levels, pregnancy is possible even in people suffering from diabetes.It definitely is a big challenge to make lifestyle changes to cope with diabetes, but those efforts don’t go in vain and often result in a beautiful reward.
Gaudium IVF is one of the top infertility clinics in India and is renowned for bringing advanced and affordable treatment and care for female infertility and gynecological issues. Specialists at Gaudium IVF are well-versed in infertility, gynecology and obstetrics to help in preventing diabetes complications in relation to male or female infertility.
Contact today for a free consultation and expert advice from the leading IVF specialist in Delhi, Dr Manika Khanna.