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REVIEW
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-14

Diabetes mellitus and male infertility


Division of Medical Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
S Omolaoye Temidayo
Division of Medical Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Francie van Zijl Drive, Tygerberg 7505
South Africa
S du Plessis Stefan
Division of Medical Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Francie van Zijl Drive, Tygerberg 7505
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2305-0500.220978

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Infertility is prevalent in about 10%-25% of couples in their reproductive age, analogous to 60-80 million infertile couples globally. Of these infertility cases, 10%-30% are exclusively attributed to a problem of the male. Several diseases have been implicated as contributors to deteriorating male fertility and diabetes mellitus (DM) is included. DM, a chronic non-communicable disease, has been considered as one of the most appreciable health threats, as it affects 9% (422 million) of the world’s population as of 2014. It is characterised by hyperglycaemia, which can result from the inability of the pancreatic β-cells to secrete insulin or from the target tissue becoming insensitive to insulin. DM has been reported to influence male reproductive function through diverse pathways and mechanisms. The adverse effects of reactive oxygen species and successive development of oxidative stress that occur due to DM have been investigated and implicated by several studies. The products of non-enzymatic glycosylation are reported to be widely distributed in the reproductive tract of diabetic men. Additionally, DM has been implicated to impair the processes of male sexual acts. Data reported in this review were extracted from PubMed, Google Scholar, Science Direct and Scopus with diabetes and male infertility as the key search words. In light of the aforementioned, the aim of this review is to provide brief background information on DM as well highlight and explain the likely mechanisms of male fertility which DM impacts.


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