4 Negative effects of Diabetes in women

4 Negative effects of Diabetes in women

Did you know that diabetes was a source of significant distress for women? In fact, diabetic women are four times more likely to develop heart disease than diabetic men who are only two times more likely when compared with the general population.1

Here are 4 ways that diabetes affects women

1. Women with diabetes have a higher risk of developing urinary tract infections and vaginal infections.

It is not uncommon for women to report to the hospital with a urinary tract infection (UTI) or vaginal discharge due to yeast or other infection. Up to 50% of women will experience a UTI in their lifetime. This is mostly due to the shortened urethra, making it easy for bacteria to travel into the bladder. Diabetes increases the frequency of these infections as it affects your immune cell’s ability to defend your body.


2. Women with diabetes struggle with fertility

Poorly controlled diabetes causes hormone imbalance which affects the menstrual cycle, mood and libido in women. Vaginal dryness is also common in diabetic women making sex rather uncomfortable. Up to 70% of women with PCOS also have insulin resistance. The combined effects of all these is a struggle to get pregnant. Regular routine health checks will help with early diagnosis which is key in reducing the risk of infertility due to diabetic complications.


3. Diabetic women are more likely to have negative pregnancy outcomes

For women who are already diabetic, particularly those who are not even aware of their diagnosis, high blood sugar at the time of conception can result in increased risk of birth defects. The pregnancy is also at risk of spontaneous miscarriages, growth restriction and even stillbirth later in the pregnancy. Suppose the woman develops gestational diabetes in the course of the pregnancy however, there is a high risk of the baby becoming too big for vaginal delivery, which means caesarian section will most likely be the delivery option for a safe mother and baby. When a big baby is delivered vaginally, the risk of injury to the mother and baby are very high, the baby is also at risk of sudden death due to low blood sugar. This is why it is important to know your status during pregnancy so proper precautions can be put in place.


4. Other diabetic complications can also occur in women.

As if the above were not enough, women with Diabetes are also at risk of all the other numerous complications such as amputations of the leg, blindness and other cardiovascular complications. Women with diabetes are more prone to heart disease and strokes than their male counterparts.


If you are already diabetic, it is important that you follow your doctors advise and  take your medication religiously. Difficult as it may be, you must try to maintain an ideal weight by managing your diet and increasing your level of physical activity as much as practicable. There are numerous specialists who can help you along this path. It is a known fact that if you are overweight and diabetic, losing weight results in better blood sugar control.


If you are not diabetic, it is still important that you maintain an ideal weight, get physically active, and most importantly have regular health checks to ensure that everything remains as it should be.


Related Articles:

5 Complications of Poorly Controlled Type 2 Diabetes

5 early signs that you may be developing diabetes

  1. CDC: Diabetes and women
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Written by
Kelvin Owusu, MD
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Kelvin Owusu, MD

Dr. Kelvin Owusu is a Health and Wellness Consultant who, through a holistic approach, helps individuals and groups craft innovative health plans aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles.

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