Effects of Diabetes on Sperm

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Mar 26, 2012

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Effects of Diabetes on Sperm

Health concerns arising from diabetes are far reaching. Some of the diabetic men manage to control the complications of diabetes with proper diet, exercise and building insulin resistance, whereas others experience health challenges such as defective sperm DNA. Among other sexual concerns associated with diabetes are pregnancy failure and miscarriage.

The likelihood of sperm cells getting fragmented in more in men suffering from diabetes. Furthermore, frequency of DNA deletions in the mitochondria of cells was considerably higher in diabetic men. Researchers also concluded that semen volume also decreased in men with diabetes. However, no changes were observed in motility, structure and density of sperm.

DNA Damage

Effect on sperm was no different for type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus. DNA damage due smoking has been found to affect fertility. There have been several researches to confirm the effect of diabetes on fertility by DNA damage.


One must get advice of a health care expert in order to treat sexual problems experienced due to diabetes and insulin-related infertility. Besides adhering to the medication and guidelines advised by health care expert, such treatment should be accompanied with exercise and weight loss regimen by regulation of diet. An adequate diet for diabetes is a combination of calorie restrictions for weight loss, controlled carbohydrate intake and limiting sugar content in diet.

Other Sexual Complications of Diabetes

1. Erectile Dysfunction: One of the most common sexual concerns for diabetic men if Erectile dysfunction (ED), wherein a man is unable to maintain firm penis erection for sexual intercourse. The reasons of erectile dysfunction in diabetics are damage to the blood vessels and nerve damage. As per estimate of National Medical Association, 50 percent of diabetics experience the erectile dysfunction.

2. Retrograde Ejaculation: Another sexual condition observed in men with diabetes is retrograde ejaculation. In this condition, men’s semen gets misdirected during ejaculation. Semen released to the bladder is later expelled through urine. This happens owing to the dysfunction of sphincters in the penis and inadequate contraction of blood vessels that gets damaged by diabetic neuropathy. There is a fair chance of men experiencing fertility problems due to retrograde ejaculation.


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