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Does having type 1 diabetes affect levels of fertility?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by AdamW, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. AdamW

    AdamW · Newbie

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    Hello, I'm just posting here because I am very curious about this question, I'm 19 years old and have had type 1 for about 8 years now, and this question has popped up into my mind a few times, but does having diabetes actually affect the chances of having children when your older. I don't plan on having children for a while that's why I'm curious, the longer I wait the less chance of having children? I would love to have children when I'm older that's why I've been thinking about this.
    Thank you you reading :)




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  2. hello123

    hello123 Type 1 · Member

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    if bs control is fine there is no such question
     
  3. Diabetic Krissy

    Diabetic Krissy Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    From what I have read you are more at risk of things (If your levels are not under control) However I don't think it affects your fertility at all.
     
  4. the_anticarb

    the_anticarb · Well-Known Member

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    I don't think so. I conceived my son accidentally, so wasn't even trying - and my daughter after only a few months. I think if your levels are high you can miscarry more, or have problems later on in the pregnancy, but the actual sperm-meets-egg part isn't affected. Pretty lucky really seeing as diabetes seems to affect just about everything else in our bodies!
     
  5. DonnaC-T

    DonnaC-T Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Wrong thread, sorry x
     
  6. sw11bloke

    sw11bloke · Well-Known Member

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    From a male to a male.... Adam.... Diabetes can affect you ability to perform sexually especially if you do not have good control. (micro & macro vasular issues) It can also lead to lower testosterone levels so as a male, I am sure it can affect fertility.
    My advice to you is to keep good stable control and to try and keep your HBA1C between 6 and 8%.

    Something for you to think about is: as a diabetic male, we have a higher rate of passing on diabetes to the child - More so than a diabetic woman.
    When you do plan to have kids someday, it will definately be worth the while getting advice from a fertility specialist especially one who has experience with diabetes. Kings College Hospital have some hight experienced doctors that work in this area at their diabetic clinic.

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. the_anticarb

    the_anticarb · Well-Known Member

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    Oops didn't see that you were male there ADAM!
     
  8. blink

    blink · Well-Known Member

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    is this statement true? i have a 3 year old daughter and when my partner was pregnant i was told that there is no medical evidence to prove that there is a higher chance of her becoming diabetic as there would be if i wasnt diabetic. i am just going by what i was told by a diabetic doctor up here(wouldnt be the first time they have got there information wrong :problem: ) i was 27, had been diabetic for 11 years at that time, when my girlfriend became pregnant and my control was rubbish for a good chunk of that time(not something i am proud of).

    as i say this is just goin by what i have been told so i could be totally wrong :think:
     
  9. the_anticarb

    the_anticarb · Well-Known Member

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    There is a genetic element to some types of diabetes, some quite strongly so. I have a monogenic type which means I have a 50% chance of passing on the faulty gene to any children, if I do they will definitely aquire it at some point during adolescence or young adulthood.
    Other types of diabetes are less 'genetic'. Probably the doctors don't really know to what extent. I think the explosion in cases of diabetes worldwide is not just due to the high carb /low exercise western diet but more the fact that since insulin was discovered only a few generations ago diabetics are living and breeding when previously they would either have died or not carried a child - it's only one generation since many diabetic women were dissuaded from having families at all.


    My mum for example she had us in the 70s and had three difficult pregnancies, all resulted in children but 2 of us have the big D.
     
  10. sw11bloke

    sw11bloke · Well-Known Member

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    Diabetes in Men

    Men too can experience infertility issues due to high glucose levels. For some retrograde ejaculation, where semen backs up into the bladder, making it impossible to get to the woman’s reproductive organs, becomes a problem, as does erectile dysfunction caused by both the diabetes itself as well as medications which may be used to control it.

    Still, there is one, more dangerous reproductive side effect to diabetes in men: DNA damage. According to research released y Dr. Ishola Agbaje of the Reproductive Research Group at Queen’s University in Belfast, diabetes can and does cause serious DNA damage to sperm which can inhibit a pregnancy, live birth and even healthy, normal fetus. Among the results of the study include that:
    •Diabetic men have much lower semen levels (just 2.6 compared to 3.3 ml in their non-diabetic counterparts).
    •The nuclear DNA in diabetic man’s sperm cells was more (52 per cent versus 32 per cent).
    •There were more deletions in the mitochondrial DNA of diabetic men’s sperm cells than those of the non-diabetic men.
    •The mitochondrial DNA deletions in the diabetic men’s sperm cells ranged from 3 to 6 and averaged 4, while for the non-diabetic men it ranged from 1 to 4 and averaged 3.

    What does all this mean? Simply put, a diabetic man who does not control his glucose levels has less of a chance of impregnating his partner and when he does the risk of miscarriage and deformities are much higher.

    The following article comes from a Harvard Medical study:
    ■The risk for a child of a parent with type 1 diabetes is lower if it is the mother — rather than the father — who has diabetes. "If the father has it, the risk is about 1 in 10 (10 percent) that his child will develop type 1 diabetes — the same as the risk to a sibling of an affected child," Dr. Warram says. On the other hand, if the mother has type 1 diabetes and is age 25 or younger when the child is born, the risk is reduced to 1 in 25 (4 percent) and if the mother is over age 25, the risk drops to 1 in 100 — virtually the same as the average American.
    ■If one of the parents developed type 1 diabetes before age 11, their child's risk of developing type 1 diabetes is somewhat higher than these figures and lower if the parent was diagnosed after their 11th birthday.


    http://www.joslin.org/info/genetics_and_diabetes.html
     
  11. wiflib

    wiflib Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Having any type of diabetes makes no difference to anyones health. Having diabetes that is not controlled, does.

    This is a personal opinion, based on what I've read and experienced.
     
  12. Wullie

    Wullie · Active Member

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    Thanks for that post, sw11bloke, very informative.

    Am currently in family planning discussions with my wife - she is nervous about the child developing T1 so this is of great use.
     
  13. AdamW

    AdamW · Newbie

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    I'm 19 years old now, so if I take full control of my diabetes from now until when ever I have kids and for the rest of my life, things should be fine? I am normally controlled but recently have been a tad off as I've started university and for some reason I'm finding at a tad harder :p


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  14. sw11bloke

    sw11bloke · Well-Known Member

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    I understand Adam. I found it hard to deal with my sugar levels in uni too.
    If you can then do make the effort as it will definately make a difference.
    You may want to think of a back up plan. Perhaps look into freezing sperm now and if ever in the future you had issues, You could go down the IVF route. Perhaps in the future they would be able to remove the diabetic gene from your sperm.
     
  15. AdamW

    AdamW · Newbie

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    That sounds like a good idea, I'd have to speak to a doctor to do this I'm guessing, and is it free to go about that method of freezing?


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  16. sw11bloke

    sw11bloke · Well-Known Member

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    not sure fella. Speak to your GP and to your diabetic specialist. I somehow think there may be a one off charge. Call a fertility clinic or an IVF centre.
     
  17. sarah88

    sarah88 · Active Member

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    Blink, my mum was told exactly the same thing 24 years ago when she had me, my dad is diabetic, I am diabetic too. My older sister however is not. My DSN said that there is 'research that shows a distinct link' [between t1 fathers and diabetic children] and she personally thought it was more likely for men to pass on those genes than women.


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  18. AliP

    AliP Family member · Newbie

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    Hi Adam, I saw your post and had to reply as I have first hand experience to share with you.

    My husband is Type 1. He was diagnosed at 13 years of age and is now nearly 42. We have been together since your age, but only felt ready to have a family in our mid thirties. Unfortunately, that then proved to be not so straight forward. Because of the length of time he has been diabetic and (as he would readily admit) poor control when he was younger, he was diagnosed with retrograde ejaculation (the condition which someone else has explained elsewhere in this thread). As a result, it turned out there was only a very small chance that we would be able to conceive naturally (because sometimes everything works as it should, but the chances of that happening on a fertile day can't be guaranteed!).

    We started trying for a family at the beginning of 2010 and after all the various tests and waiting times for appointments, finally got the go ahead for IVF funding during autumn 2012. It was possible for my husband to have a non-surgical procedure to extract sperm from his urine, but if that doesn't work for some people, then there are various surgical options (obviously not ideal because of diabetics not healing as well as other people). We then had to undergo a special form of IVF called ICSI (which is more expensive). If you look up fertility clinic websites near to you, you should find out all the information you need to know.

    I am very pleased to say that I sit here typing this with my 9 month old son beside me, but we were running out of time for our own family.

    For yourself at this stage in life, I would recommend as someone else on this thread has said, get some sperm on ice! You do have to pay to store it, but it will be worth it in the future if you happen to develop RE or another complication. If you do go down the storage route, I would recommend you going on a health kick first - we already ate a healthy diet but were even more careful what we ate, got fit and we gave up alcohol too (that's hard, but can really make a difference).

    When you do eventually find a lovely lady you want to have children with, don't leave it too long to start your family. If we had decided to have children earlier in our relationship, we might have had an easier time of it. Remember that not all women may be willing to go through all that IVF treatment entails ....

    I should also mention that it is apparently possible to get some tablets that can temporarily cure RE which increases the chances of a natural conception; due to our age, we did not have enough time to try that as a route though.

    Everyone says it, good control is the key to living with diabetes. It absolutely is, although you may not realise it until you are older and wiser ;)

    Wishing you all the best.

    Ali
     
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