5 ways balancing your blood sugar can directly support your fertility
Balancing your blood glucose levels can help lower the risk of insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and other metabolic conditions that disrupt hormonal balance, regular menstrual cycles, and ovulation – all of which are critical for fertility.
Here are the main ways to know.
1. Supporting weight management
High blood sugar and insulin resistance can lead to persistent weight gain.
Research indicates that women who are overweight or obese produce higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of progesterone than women with lower BMIs. This imbalance of crucial female sex hormones can lead to irregular ovulation cycles, make ovulation less likely to happen each month, and make it hard for sperm to reach the egg.
Obesity is also an established risk factor for miscarriage.
In fact, women who have a BMI greater than 27 are 3 times less likely to get pregnant than women with a healthy body weight. Metabolic syndrome, which is marked by high blood sugar levels, is also associated with PCOS, which causes an irregular menstrual cycle, preventing ovulation from occurring regularly.
2. Boosting hormone health
Chronically elevated glucose levels can lead to insulin resistance, a condition where your cells stop responding properly to the hormone insulin. Insulin resistance is associated with several poor metabolic health outcomes, including weight gain and type 2 diabetes.
Weight gain due to insulin resistance can trigger the production of more estrogen, a female reproductive hormone, which throws off your body’s carefully balanced ratio of estrogen to testosterone.
It can also cause inflammation throughout the body, which can affect the reproductive system, specifically the function of the ovaries and testes (the main organs that produce sex hormones).
In women, insulin resistance can lead to ovulatory dysfunction, PCOS, and infertility, while in men it can lead to lower total testosterone concentration and decreased sperm count and motility.
3. Managing PCOS
Women with PCOS have higher than normal levels of androgens (male sex hormones), which can contribute to insulin resistance.
Androgen excess can impact fertility in women by interfering with their ability to get pregnant in several ways.
It causes an irregular menstrual cycle, preventing ovulation from occurring regularly; it also makes it less likely that an egg will be produced when you do ovulate because your body produces fewer follicles each month; lastly, it can decrease the likelihood of successful fertilization of the egg by sperm.