COULD MY DIABETES BE THE PROBLEM?
Q| I am a 43-year-old male and was diagnosed with diabetes in 2010. Since then, I have taken regular medication to manage my condition. In the same year as my diagnosis, my wife gave birth to our first child. However, we have been trying to fall pregnant again for five years without success. Could this be due to me being diabetic?
A The fact that you have not conceived in five years is significant, and you could have secondary infertility. You need to be evaluated as a couple, get a diagnosis and formulate a management plan.
Diabetes is known to be a cause of erectile dysfunction and, therefore, the condition has an impact on fertility. Results of research on the effect of diabetes on sperm count and quality are conflicting, but recent studies have shown that uncontrolled diabetes may have a negative effect on sperm.
People with type 2 diabetes are often overweight and there is an association between obesity and male infertility. You should ensure that your diabetes is well controlled, that you follow a healthy diet and that your weight is within a normal range.
The next step is to have a spermiogram (microscopic examination of a sperm sample) done to determine whether a sperm problem is present.
Dr Marienus Trouw, obstetrician, gynaecologist and fertility specialist