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June 27, 2001

Family Planning

Question from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India:

I am 23 years old, have had type 1 diabetes for 14 years, use Insulin daily, and I am planning to get married this year. Does diabetes affect my sex life? What precautions I should take to have healthy children?

Answer:

Women with type 1 should not become pregnant if your blood sugars are elevated. We suggest two hemoglobin A1c levels in the normal range prior to pregnancy. Pregnancy with less than optimum sugar control, poses an increased risk of birth defects. Optimal control of sugars prior to pregnancy is also recommended to prevent worsening of complications with a pregnancy.

Some reports of sexual dysfunction have been reported with poorly controlled diabetes in women, but these are more difficult to describe because they are not similar to erectile problems seen men who have diabetic neuropathy.

It is important that you discuss these issues with your physician.

JTL