Diabetes And Fertility: How Diabetes Can Affect Your Fertility
You’ve have been trying with no luck to get pregnant and have not been able to a find a reason for your infertility. You may have tried a fertility cleanse, begun eating a fertility diet, and are taking all the right supplements and herbs, but are still having trouble conceiving. It may be time to have a simple blood test to determine if your glucose levels are too high. With the rates of Type II diabetes rising every year in the U.S., more and more infertility specialists are looking toward this health issue as a main cause of some otherwise unexplained infertility cases they see. According to the American Diabetes Association, there are more than 200,000 new cases of Type II diabetes diagnosed every year, with another 2.4% of the general childbearing population suffering from the disease but not knowing it. When it comes to diabetes and infertility the answer is clear: there is a connection. No, in many cases (especially among women), diabetes alone does not keep them from getting pregnant, but it oftentimes keeps them from staying pregnant. In many cases, say fertility doctors, “a woman with higher than normal glucose levels does get pregnant month after month. Unfortunately her diabetes status prevents that embryo from implanting in the uterus, causing a miscarriage before she ever realizes she is pregnant.” In this case, the diabetes isn’t preventing conception, but is preventing an ongoing pregnancy. High glucose levels are reported to increase a woman’s chances of miscarriage by 30-60% according to statistics released by the American Diabetes Association. Even when implantation does occur, there are other risks to consider, including: An increased risk of birth defects due to damage caused to embryonic cells form the high levels of glucose in the blood Continue reading >>
Have A Safe Pregnancy With Type 2 Diabetes
It used to be that women with type 2 diabetes were discouraged from becoming pregnant. These days, with careful pregnancy planning and monitoring of blood glucose levels, you can have a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby. Diabetes and Pregnancy: Your Prenatal Care Team If you have type 2 diabetes and you want to become pregnant, the first step would ideally be to speak with both your endocrinologist and your obstetrician. They can help you be at your healthiest to conceive. Both before you become pregnant and during your pregnancy (and beyond), it will be important for you to keep your blood sugar levels under control and to follow all the other guidelines to minimize all health risks to you and your baby. Fortunately, different diabetes practitioners can work with you on all the aspects of pregnancy, including exercise and nutrition. Your medical team might include: Your obstetrician. The ob-gyn you choose should care for patients with type 2 diabetes or have experience with high-risk pregnancies. Your dietitian. This professional can outline a pre-pregnancy and pregnancy diet that will keep blood glucose under control. Your diabetes educator. This specialist can help you learn about your body’s changing needs throughout your pregnancy. Your future pediatrician. Your baby’s doctor should have experience treating infants of mothers with diabetes. Diabetes and Pregnancy: Control Blood Glucose First While every woman is urged to get her body into baby-ready shape before conceiving, this is especially important if you have diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, your blood glucose levels should be in the suggested range for three to six months before you try to conceive and, of course, during your entire pregnancy. This may involve more doctor visits, Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Pregnancy
Women who have diabetes before they get pregnant have special health concerns. In addition to the new demands that a pregnancy will put on your body, it will also affect your blood sugar levels and diabetes medications. If you're thinking about having a baby, take steps to lessen the risks for both you and your child. A pre-conception counseling appointment will help you be physically and emotionally prepared for pregnancy. Meet with your doctor to find out if your diabetes is controlled well enough for you to stop your birth control method. A blood test called the glycosylated hemoglobin test (HbA1c, or just A1c) can show how well it's been going over the past 8 to 12 weeks. Other medical tests can help prevent complications during pregnancy: Eye exam to see if you have glaucoma, cataracts, or retinopathy Blood work to make sure your kidneys and liver are working Foot exam High blood sugar levels early in the pregnancy (before 13 weeks) can cause birth defects. They also can increase the risks of miscarriage and diabetes-related complications. But many women don't know they're pregnant until the baby has been growing for 2 to 4 weeks. That's why you should have good control of your blood sugar before you start trying to conceive. Keep blood glucose levels within the ideal range: 70 to 100 mg/dL before meals Less than 120 mg/dL 2 hours after eating 100-140 mg/dL before your bedtime snack Use your meals, exercise, and diabetes medications to keep a healthy balance. Continue reading >>
I Have Diabetes. What Do I Need To Know Before I Get Pregnant?
Getting your diabetes under control before you try to conceive can make a huge difference in the outcome of your pregnancy. Before insulin, diabetic women were rarely able to have successful pregnancies, and about 65 percent of babies died in utero or shortly after birth. This statistic has fallen over the years to less than 2 percent, so that when diabetes is un ununder control during pregnancy, the risk of pregnancy loss is not much higher than for non-diabetic pregnancies. Unfortunately, birth defects are still two to four times more common in diabetic pregnancies. We don't know for certain why that is, but it's probably largely due to abnormal blood glucose levels – those that are constantly outside the normal range as well as those that fluctuate in and out significantly. Since the majority of heart, kidney, and central nervous system birth defects start during the first seven weeks of pregnancy, it's critical to get your blood glucose level under control before conception and keep it under control throughout your pregnancy. It may help to get counseling before you get pregnant. Studies have shown that the rate of birth defects decreases from 10 percent to about 1 percent if an expectant mom gets help. To do all you can to prevent birth defects (as well as miscarriage and stillbirth), follow this strategy: Aim to achieve normal glycosolated hemoglobin levels (an indicator of blood sugar control) before conception, and then manage your diet carefully and monitor your glucose levels frequently. Keeping your glucose levels in check can help prevent other problems for your baby, such as preterm birth, weighing too much at birth, or having low blood glucose right after birth. Depending on what diabetes medication you're using, your doctor may need you to switch to one Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Getting Pregnant
Having a chronic condition such as diabetes (diabetes mellitus) takes careful monitoring of your health at the best of times, and this becomes even more crucial during pregnancy, a time when your body changes dramatically. Most women who have pre-existing diabetes who become pregnant have type 1 diabetes (once called insulin-dependent or juvenile diabetes), although some may have type 2 (once called non-insulin dependent or maturity-onset) diabetes. Another type of diabetes called gestational diabetes is a temporary type of diabetes that occurs in pregnant women who have never had diabetes before and it usually goes away after the baby is born. This article deals only with pre-existing diabetes — also known as 'pre-gestational diabetes'. If you have diabetes, there’s no reason that you can’t have a healthy and successful pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby. What it does mean is that you will probably have to work closely with your doctor and other healthcare professionals to ensure you manage your diabetes well during your pregnancy. I have diabetes and want to become pregnant: what should I do? Seeing your doctor for pre-pregnancy planning is an important step in ensuring the best outcome for you and your baby. You have a pre-existing condition, so you can plan ahead and discuss with your doctor what you need to do before you become pregnant, and what you can do to manage your diabetes during pregnancy. For example, if you have diabetes, you have a slightly higher risk than other women of your baby: having a birth defect; being born prematurely; weighing too much or too little; having jaundice; or having dangerously low blood sugar levels after birth. You yourself have an increased risk of having a miscarriage or of developing high blood pressure during the preg Continue reading >>
How To Get Pregnant With Type 1 Diabetes (all The Lifestyle Tips)
Who recognizes the name Lyrehca from the blog Managing the Sweetness Within, chronicling one woman's efforts to get and stay pregnant while dealing with her lifelong type 1 diabetes? Yes, you guessed it: Lyrehca is coming out of the closet as herself, Cheryl Alkon, now-author of the forthcoming book Balancing Pregnancy With Pre-Existing Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby. Today, Lyrehca (er, Cheryl) shares a brief version of her story, and some don't-miss tips on diabetes and pregnancy. A Guest Post by Cheryl Alkon, D-blogger and Author When I first thought about trying to get pregnant, almost five years ago, I did everything I was supposed to do: I stepped up visits to my endocrinologist for pre-pregnancy consults I worked to get my blood sugar numbers into the tight ranges recommended for pregnancy I saw my eye doctor to check my eyes for any longterm damage from diabetes and learned how pregnancy might affect them I ate better and took prenatal vitamins I also looked everywhere for books and websites about the subject and I soon met with the maternal-fetal medicine specialist who worked with my endocrinologist at my hospital's diabetes and pregnancy program. Despite excellent blood sugars, an overall good bill of health, and extensive knowledge about the topic, I left the specialist's office in tears. Why? The doc, also known as a high-risk obstetrician, spent our appointment telling me all the terrible things that could happen in a pregnancy complicated by diabetes. Yes, tight blood sugars were necessary. Without them, the chances of having a pregnancy colored by complications, both for me and for the unborn baby, were high. The visit was a long list of all the potential things that could go wrong, from the pregnancy itself, to actually giving birth, to the health Continue reading >>
Preparing For Pregnancy When You Have Diabetes
Pregnancy and diabetes doesn't have to be a risky combination. By preparing for pregnancy, you can boost the odds of delivering a healthy baby. Here's how. If you have diabetes — either type 1 or type 2 — and you're thinking about having a baby, you might be concerned about the risks. To put your mind at ease, start preparing. Controlling your blood sugar level and making healthy lifestyle choices before pregnancy can help you give your baby the healthiest start. Start with a checkup The first step in preparing for pregnancy is to talk to your health care provider. He or she might recommend: Changing medications. If you take oral diabetes medication, you might need to switch to a medication that is safer for use in pregnancy or make other changes to your diabetes treatment plan before you conceive. If you also have high blood pressure (hypertension), your blood pressure medications will need to be reviewed. Certain medications to treat high blood pressure — aren't recommended during pregnancy. Treatment for certain conditions. If you have high blood pressure or signs of heart, eye, nerve or kidney disease — or other diabetes complications that could be aggravated by pregnancy — preparing for pregnancy might include treatment for the condition before conception. Consulting with specialists. Your health care provider might suggest scheduling preconception appointments with an obstetrician, a diabetes educator, a registered dietitian or other specialists. Focus on blood sugar control Controlling your blood sugar level is the best way to prevent diabetes complications. When you're preparing for pregnancy, blood sugar control is more important than ever. Your health care provider might want you to reach a specific hemoglobin A1C level — a reflection of your blood Continue reading >>
Can Women With Diabetes Get Pregnant?
Can Women with Diabetes Get Pregnant? Can women with diabetes get pregnant? Diabetes can affect a person without warning and sometimes may even occur without any family history. For a woman of child bearing age, this is stressful as the desire to become a mother and the thought of bringing harm to the child. Although the risks associated with pregnancy in a diabetic woman can’t be ignored, the number of misconceptions is huge and adds to the stress. However, the situation is not as bad as it is made out. Diabetic woman can get pregnant and deliver healthy babies. You just need to take certain precautions to become a mother. The short answer is “Yes”. Since diabetes is a chronic condition, a person is required to take care of their health. Monitoring the sugar levels and keeping them in check is essential. This becomes all the more necessary and important during pregnancy, when your body is undergoing a lot of changes. You should interact more often with your doctor and other healthcare professionals during your pregnancy and try to manage your diabetes as best as you can. This way you can have a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby. How Will Diabetes Affect My Pregnancy? The most commonly seen complications of diabetes are those that affect the kidney, eyes and the nervous system. These are also known as diabetic-nephropathy, retinopathy and neuropathy respectively. After delivery the symptoms might disappear; however, treatment may be required. Ensure that you inform your doctor about any changes in your body as they can be symptoms of a condition. Common conditions seen among mothers are: urinary tract infection leading to fever. high blood pressure leading to fluid build up. swelling in limbs and face. protein excretion in urine. carpal tunnel syndrome leadi Continue reading >>
Having A Healthy Pregnancy With Type 1 Diabetes
Kerri Sparling was 7 years old when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She grew up believing that she'd never be able to have children of her own. But by the time she became an adult, significant technological advances in managing the illness gave her hope. With two decades of blood sugar control under her belt, Sparling eventually looked around for models of a healthy pregnancy with type 1 diabetes. Aside from Julia Robert’s character in the movie Steel Magnolia, she didn’t find much. Roberts’ character had type 1 diabetes and successfully carried a child to term, only to die soon after from diabetes complications. “It wasn’t a positive image,” Sparling said. Undaunted by the Hollywood dramatization, Sparling did her own research and, in preparation for pregnancy and with the help of her endocrinologist, worked for more than a year to get her A1C — a standard test to find out average blood sugar levels over several months — below seven. Sparling, now 34, has a 3-year-old daughter and confirms that while type 1 diabetes and pregnancy might be a challenging mix, a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby are both possible. That said, pregnancy demanded a lot more insulin than she was used to taking, and she had to spend the last month of her pregnancy in the hospital with pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure in pregnancy) before her 6-pound, 13-ounce baby girl was delivered by Caesarean section. “Pregnancy has a definitive end,” Sparling said. “I felt I could make it through to the end of that. But diabetes goes on and on.” Like Sparling, other diabetic women can get pregnant. But without proper monitoring and extra precautions, the chronic illness puts both the mother and the baby at risk for various complications. Here are some of the important m Continue reading >>
Pregnancy If You Have Diabetes
If you have diabetes and plan to have a baby, you should try to get your blood glucose levels close to your target range before you get pregnant. Staying in your target range during pregnancy, which may be different than when you aren’t pregnant, is also important. High blood glucose, also called blood sugar, can harm your baby during the first weeks of pregnancy, even before you know you are pregnant. If you have diabetes and are already pregnant, see your doctor as soon as possible to make a plan to manage your diabetes. Working with your health care team and following your diabetes management plan can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. If you develop diabetes for the first time while you are pregnant, you have gestational diabetes. How can diabetes affect my baby? A baby’s organs, such as the brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs, start forming during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. High blood glucose levels can be harmful during this early stage and can increase the chance that your baby will have birth defects, such as heart defects or defects of the brain or spine. High blood glucose levels during pregnancy can also increase the chance that your baby will be born too early, weigh too much, or have breathing problems or low blood glucose right after birth. High blood glucose also can increase the chance that you will have a miscarriage or a stillborn baby.1 Stillborn means the baby dies in the womb during the second half of pregnancy. How can my diabetes affect me during pregnancy? Hormonal and other changes in your body during pregnancy affect your blood glucose levels, so you might need to change how you manage your diabetes. Even if you’ve had diabetes for years, you may need to change your meal plan, physical activity routine, and medicines. Continue reading >>
Planning A Pregnancy With Type 1 Or 2 Diabetes
Why it’s so important to plan my pregnancy? If you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, you need to be as healthy as possible before you conceive, and while you are pregnant. All pregnancies come with risks, but if you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, your level of risk is higher, for the baby and for you. You can’t avoid these risks completely, but there are a lot of things you can do to reduce them. "Right from when I was diagnosed, my diabetes team said to me ‘If you're ever thinking of having a family, you need to let us know because there are special things you have to do." Preparing for pregnancy with type 1 or 2 diabetes… If you are not yet pregnant, talk to your GP or diabetes team. They may have enough expertise themselves, or they may refer you to a specialist pre-conception care team. There are a number of steps you can take before conception that will give you the best possible chance of having a healthy pregnancy. They will explain these steps to you and your partner or family member. Step 1: Get your HbA1C to the recommended level Your HbA1C gives your average blood glucose level for the previous 2-3 months. It is thought that the closer it is to your ideal level (your healthcare team will be able to tell you what this is), the lower the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. If your levels are too far above the ideal level, your team will encourage you to manage your blood glucose more tightly and then re-test every month until you reach the recommended levels before you actually try to conceive. If your HbA1C is very high (above 86 mmol/mol) you are strongly recommended to avoid getting pregnant until you can reduce the levels, as this will reduce the risk of miscarriage, and of your baby dying before, during or after the time of birth. Step 2: Check your blood gluc Continue reading >>
I Have Gestational Diabetes. How Will It Affect My Baby?
Will gestational diabetes hurt my baby? Most women who develop diabetes during pregnancy go on to have a healthy baby. Dietary changes and exercise may be enough to keep blood sugar (glucose) levels under control, though sometimes you may also need to take medication. But untreated gestational diabetes can cause serious problems. If blood sugar levels remain elevated, too much glucose ends up in the baby's blood. When that happens, the baby's pancreas needs to produce more insulin to process the extra sugar. Too much blood sugar and insulin can make a baby put on extra weight, which is stored as fat. This can make the baby grow very large (macrosomia). Also, high blood sugar levels during pregnancy and labor increase the risk of a baby developing low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) after delivery. That's because the baby's body produces extra insulin in response to the mother's excess glucose. Insulin lowers the amount of sugar in the blood. The signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia in an infant include: jitteriness weak or high-pitched cry floppiness lethargy or sleepiness breathing problems skin that looks blue trouble feeding eye rolling seizures A baby may also be at higher risk for breathing problems at birth, especially if blood sugar levels aren't well controlled or the baby is delivered early. (If you have gestational diabetes, your baby's lungs tend to mature a bit later). The risk of newborn jaundice is higher too. If your blood sugar control is especially poor, the baby's heart function could be affected as well, which can contribute to breathing problems. Gestational diabetes sometimes thickens a baby's heart muscle (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), causing the baby to breathe rapidly and not be able to get enough oxygen from her blood. It's understandable to feel anxi Continue reading >>
I Have Diabetes. What Should I Know Before I Get Pregnant?
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes there are steps you can take to prepare yourself for pregnancy. Rest assured that these steps can make a big difference to how healthy you and your baby are throughout the pregnancy you're hoping for. You will need to be very careful to monitor your blood sugar (glucose) levels, though. That's because, once you're pregnant, you and your unborn baby will have a higher risk of complications. Rarely, these complications caused by diabetes can result in a baby being born with a life-long condition. Sadly, mums-to-be with diabetes are more likely to have a miscarriage, or even experience the loss of a baby at birth. Babies born to mums with diabetes are also more likely to develop diabetes in later life. Most heart defects, kidney problems and nerve and brain defects happen in the first eight weeks of pregnancy. These potential risks are probably due, in part, to the way blood glucose levels can rapidly go up and down beyond the normal range. So controlling your diabetes starting now is key to preventing complications or, in the worst of cases, the loss of a longed-for pregnancy. The good news is that with careful planning and the support of your GP and diabetes specialist, this is very achievable. There may be a preconception diabetes clinic in your area where you can get help too. Taking the following steps will help you to be in the best of health, ready for conception: Aim to control your blood sugar. Your diabetes counsellor will recommend a glycosolated haemoglobin level (HbA1c) for you to maintain. If you don't already have one, you should be offered a kit for testing your own blood sugar levels often. Manage your diet carefully and take regular exercise. Don't drink alcohol, as it can make your blood sugar levels rise and fall ra Continue reading >>
Preparing For A Baby: From A Dad-to-be With Type 1 Diabetes
The Life of a Diabetic, who has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of 19. Originally from Pennsylvania, Chris resides in South Florida with his wife, Amanda. Managing his own search engine optimization (SEO) company, CSI Marketing Solutions, in Delray Beach, he spends most of his time working, learning about search marketing, and advocating for diabetes. We’re thrilled to have him blogging for us, kicking us off with sharing his perspective on preparing for his first child. Please welcome Chris! July 2013 was an amazing time in my life because I married the love of my life, Amanda. Fast forward to July 2014, my wife and I were not only celebrating our one year anniversary, but also celebrating the news of having our first child. After all the initial excited reactions between my wife and me, I could not help but think, “what if our child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?” It is a question that has popped into my head at least once a day for the last six to seven months. I usually tell myself there is nothing I can do about it if that day does come, so I cannot live every day in fear of it happening. But as a first time father-to-be with type 1 diabetes, I cannot help but think about it. Preparing for a baby from my perspective has included many more decisions other than what brand of diapers or bottles we want to put on our registry. We have had to discuss and research different items such as cord blood banking, to breastfeed or to not, a special diet for mommy while breastfeeding, what can we do during the early months of child to try and help prevent a diabetes diagnoses, etc. Preparing for Baby Stocker also made me realize how much more important it was for me to pay attention to my own health. This led me to pay more attention to my continuous glucose m Continue reading >>
Labour And Birth With Type 1 Or 2 Diabetes
Your birth experience may be different to the one that you had expected, and this can be hard to come to terms with. Finding out what might happen could help you feel mentally prepared for what may lie ahead. It can help to remember that although the birth itself is important, it is just one step in the journey towards having your baby. Where to give birth with type 1 or 2 diabetes If you have diabetes, it is recommended that you give birth in a hospital with the support of a consultant-led maternity team. It is not unusual for babies of mothers with diabetes to be larger than normal, which could lead to birth difficulties such as shoulder dystocia (in which the baby’s shoulder gets stuck during the birth). This means that options such as home birth are unlikely to be recommended. When to give birth with type 1 or 2 diabetes You will be advised to give birth early if you have diabetes. This is to reduce the risk of stillbirth. It is recommended by NICE that women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and no other complications should give birth between 37 weeks and 38 weeks +6 days – either by being induced or having a planned caesarean. If you have any complications that pose a risk to you or the baby, you might be offered an even earlier delivery. 'I had always been aware that I would be on the ward for high-risk cases. I am so grateful to be pregnant, I’m not going to complain about stuff like that. If there is an issue, I would rather be ready for it.' Svenja, mum-to-be How to give birth with type 1 or 2 diabetes As the recommendation is to give birth by 38+6 weeks, you are likely to be offered an induction or a caesarean section. Diabetes is not in itself a reason that you cannot have vaginal birth. Unless there are other complications there is no reason this should Continue reading >>
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