Does diabetes affect fertility?

Type 1 Diabetes: High Glucose and Conception

You've undoubtedly heard a pregnant woman calling herself -- or being called -- hormonal. Hormones are essentially chemical signals. Different hormones tell parts of the body to take action of one sort of the other. Lots of hormones are at work in a pregnant woman. Insulin is a vital, life-sustaining hormone that every person has to have -- especially a person wanting to reproduce life.

A Type 1 diabetic has to take insulin since the body is not producing it. This can be a delicate game. Since each body is different, blood sugar levels have to be closely monitored to make sure that blood sugar levels don't get too high or too low. Diabetics seeking to get pregnant are encouraged to meet with their doctors and develop a plan. It may be necessary for them to check their blood sugar several times a day [source: Brucker].

The human body is essentially making an evaluation of whether it's providing a sufficiently welcoming environment for fertilization and growth of life. The goal is to establish a stable physical environment that encourages pregnancy and allows the baby's growth to proceed without complications. The body's insulin needs may vary throughout a pregnancy, so proper monitoring is key [source: MyDr].

There are secondary conditions associated with Type 1 diabetes to be considered as well. A woman's thyroid stimulating hormones can be negatively affected by diabetes. FSH, or follicle stimulating hormones, also have a tendency to be attacked in an autoimmune response by a diabetic's body. A doctor will want to check those hormonal levels prior to conception [source: Alkon]. Diabetic men may want to consult with their doctors about potential problems that may arise, ranging from erectile dysfunction to damaged nerves that cause sperm to enter the bladder during ejaculation [source: source: Falcone].

Approximately 15 percent of all diabetics are of the Type 1 variety [source: Nordqvist]. Click ahead to learn about the other 85 percent who are Type 2 diabetics and have different considerations when it comes to their condition and fertility.