Fertility Issues in Women with Diabetes

Anna Livshits; Daniel S Seidman

Disclosures

Women's Health. 2009;5(6):701-707. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Diabetes mellitus Type 1 and Type 2 should be considered in the differential diagnosis of menstrual abnormalities and infertility. The reproductive period of diabetic women may be reduced due to delayed menarche and premature menopause. During the reproductive years, diabetes has been associated with menstrual abnormalities, such as oligomenorrhea and secondary amenorrhea. It was found that better glycemic control and prevention of diabetic complications improves these irregularities and increases fertility rates close to those that are seen in the general population. Women with persistent menstrual abnormalities despite adequate treatment need to be approached by broader evaluation, which will include the examination of the hypothalamic–pituitary–ovarian axis and the hormonal status, presence of autoimmune thyroid disease and antiovarian autoantibodies, and hyperandrogenism.

Introduction

Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of people and their families. The WHO estimates that more than 180 million people worldwide have diabetes. This number is likely to more than double by 2030.[1]

Type 1 diabetes, which predominately affects youth, is rising alarmingly worldwide, at a rate of 3% per year. Some 70,000 children aged 14 and under develop Type 1 diabetes annually. Type 2 diabetes is also increasing in number among children and adolescents as obesity rates in this population continue to soar, in both developed and developing nations.[101]

Diabetes affects women in many ways, and one of them will be the focus of the present review – the association between diabetes mellitus and infertility (Box 1).

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