Men who have had trouble conceiving their partners may want to ask their doctor for a blood glucose test. Research published in October 2018 in the medical journal BJU International Found a possible link between male infertility and undiagnosed prediabetes.
Related: What men and women 35 and older should know about fertility, infertility and pregnancy
The researchers looked at men who had not transferred a partner after 12 months of unprotected sex
In the cross-sectional study of 744 men, lead author, Luca Boeri, MDHis colleagues found that 15.4 percent of their fasting and postprandial blood glucose levels were in the prediabetes category, ranging between 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and 125 mg/dL when fasting, between 140 and 199 mg/dL. Two hours after drinking 75 grams of glucose, get an average blood glucose reading, known as a hemoglobin A1C reading, of at least 5.7 percent. They also reported no pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected intercourse.
Prediabetes: What it is and what it means for men
Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not as high as what is classified as type 1 or type 2 diabetes. These levels indicate that the body is not using its own supply of insulin efficiently; Weight loss and lifestyle changes, such as increased exercise and various dietary choices, can help lower blood glucose levels to the non-diabetic range, which is less than 100 mg/dL when fasting and no more than 126 mg/dL two hours after a meal. according to American Diabetes Association.
Related: You may have prediabetes and not know it
Prediabetes is important to men’s health and fertility
It is important to take the diagnosis of prediabetes seriously; It’s a warning sign that you may have type 2 diabetes. According to Centers for Disease Control and PreventionPeople who meet any of the following criteria are more likely to develop prediabetes:
- Weigh above the recommendation for your height
- Age mid-40s or older
- A close family member with type 2 diabetes
- Exercising less than three times a week
- Gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy or the birth of a baby weighing more than nine pounds
- African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander, and some Asian American ethnicity
To understand your personal risk of developing prediabetes, take the test at Do I have diabetes?
How to help reverse prediabetes and prevent diabetes
For those with prediabetes, it is recommended to lose 5 to 7 percent of your current body weight, cook foods with less fat by roasting, grilling, grilling, steaming or baking rather than frying, and getting 30 minutes of Exercise for at least five days. week.
What is the link between prediabetes, sperm health and pregnancy?
“Our study was not designed to explain a causal relationship between prediabetes and sperm damage, but we demonstrated for the first time a negative association between prediabetes status and impaired hormonal, metabolic, and infertility for infertile men,” says Dr. Bowery. , who works in the Department of Experimental Oncology in the Urology Unit of San Raffaele Hospital in Milan and in the Urology Department of the University of Milan. “Specifically, impaired insulin and glucose metabolism, combined with the oxidative stress typical of prediabetes, has been shown to lead to alterations in testicular metabolism.”
Related: Understand the male climax
Who is affected by infertility associated with prediabetes?
Older men, who had abnormal levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and who had more of a range of problems such as low sperm density, low sperm count, and sperm that didn’t move well, were more likely to develop prediabetes. study found.
Related: Hormones and Your Health: An Essential Guide
When to get fertility surgery and medical interventions
A man who has been trying to conceive with a partner age 35 or older for more than six months, or more than a year with a partner under age 35, should talk to a doctor about fasting and post-meal blood glucose testing to see if prediabetes may be a major factor contributing to infertility.
Glucose metabolism testing is an essential part of infertility screening
“Our study demonstrates the importance of investigating glucose metabolism during each baseline assessment of infertility,” Boeri says. “Prediabetes is a common but under-diagnosed condition in the general population and in infertile men. Our findings are relevant given the clinical significance of prediabetes, particularly with regard to its adverse potential for the general health of future men and for potential countermeasures that could be taken. As soon as possible with the relatively young.”
Related: Excessive alcohol intake may harm sperm
History of the association between diabetes and male infertility
Without treatment, prediabetes can become type 2 diabetes. Having type 2 or type 1 diabetes is linked to male fertility issues such as overall sperm quality and sperm DNA integrity, as well as other issues, such as low motility, says Boerry. Sperm concentration and decreased semen volume. But prediabetes and infertility have not been studied before. “Prediabetes is a common clinical condition, but its association with male infertility has not been fully investigated,” he says.
Related: How PCOS leads to infertility, and treatment options that can increase your chances of getting pregnant