Medical advice about becoming pregnant

I am not pregnant, first off.

My boyfriend and I are going to get married one day, and we want to have children after. Really, all I can ever remember is wanting to have children of my own.

BUT, my boyfriend is 6 years in remission from Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. Apairently one of the chemo’s they used to treat his cancer has the side affect of making people unable to have a child naturally. He hasn’t done too much testing to see if he has been affected because we are not currently trying to have a child.

He was saying that if it shows a low count or whatever there are drugs they can give men to stimulate those hormones to produce the little swimmers. I was wondering though, because having type 1 diabetes, do they want to do further fertality testing on me because diabetes is such a pregnancy risk factor? That is the only thing that scares me is being denied by doctors to seek medical treatment should we try, because I have type 1 diabetes.

Not having a child is out of the question for me. Should we not be able to have a biological child both of us are open to adopting a child, we want a baby one day no matter how we get it. We want to try to have a biological child first though, and I would really like to experence being pregnant at least once. Whatever happens though is what God wants to happen for us.

Overall, I was wondering if anyone with type 1 had problems becoming pregnant and if they were able to seek medical treatment (maybe IVF type stuff) to become pregnant. I haven’t seen any information really on it. Just what happens after you are already pregnant.

Hi Brooke!

I don’t have any personal experience with this, but I do not think that you can be denied treatment because of your diabetes if your doctor agrees that you can have a healthy pregnancy. You will need to have very tight blood sugar control to prepare for pregnancy and most endos only give the green light for pregnancy once you see an A1c close to or under 6.

This is a tough goal, but many have achieved it and many others (myself included!) are working hard to get there!

If your A1c is within range, you shouldn’t have any problems with being permitted to conceive by any doctor. Every doctor I’ve met is well-educated about risk factors and expectations and have been extremely supportive.

As far as fertility treatments are concerned, there are no specific reasons a diabetic should have problems conceiving, but just like with any women, you may need to consult a fertility specialist if you have trouble conceiving within 6 months to a year. Considering your husbands concerns, a fertility expert is likely the way to go. (Two women in my endo’s office this year recently got pregnant using a fertility specialist. I believe both got pregnant within one cycle, one of them using clomid/ovidrel and intercourse and the other using an IUI (artificial insemination). My endo strongly recommends this one doc here in Dallas now.)

If you want to read a firsthand account of a Type 1 who went through IVF, I recommend the absolutely fabulous blog by one of our members here: Managing the Sweetness Within. The author of the blog will be releasing a book in the spring of 2010 and I can’t wait - reading her blog has given me so much input about my own struggles. The fact that there’s no information out there about diabetics and fertility is precisely the reason why she wrote the blog and the book (Balancing Pregnancy with Pre-Existing Diabetes). I keep checking the publisher’s website to see if I can get it early (here’s a link), but so far, no dice. laughs

Thanks for the links!

We are not trying to have a child right now. Not for probably another 5 years at the earliest lol. Its just because, given my boyfriend medical history with chemo, I thought would be something to be informed about going in head first and having an idea of what to talk to doctors about. Long term thinking, I like to be prepared.

every regular gyno check I have had works out good for me, but we arn’t currently trying to get pregnant so I don’t know if I would have any reason to prevent pregnancy from occuring. And seeing as fertility doctors are a more likely then not visit in our future…I like to be prepared.

thank you again!

Check out this response to another discussion.

my last a1c was 7.0 and I get in done in a few weeks again and it should be lower. I don’t think that will really be an issue my a1c’s haven’t been bad since I got out of high school, I just thought it might be hard to find a doctor who is willing to take on us to have a baby. As far as I know I don’t have any fertelity problems, its my boyfriends past Chemo treatments that are going to mess with things (so he has been told). We arn’t currently trying to have a baby, just things to think about for the future.

whatever happens, happens though =)

thank you for your answers!

MelissaBL–thank you so much for your praise about my blog and upcoming book. I just found this today (three weeks later) and I really appreciate it. I’m writing as fast as I can, but if you do pre-order the book from the publisher (rather than from Amazon or any other online retailer), my editor tells me that publisher orders will be filled first.

And for Brooke, there should be no reason an infertility specialist would deny you treatment for any assisted reproductive treatments, so long as your A1C is in the healthy range for getting pregnant (typically under 7, but often, the lower the better if you aren’t super low all the time). I had to get a note from my endocrinologist stating that she was fine with my pursuing treatment, but that was easy enough. And for me personally, I only transferred one embryo for IVF (many people transfer two or three to increase their chances of conceiving) because I and my endo were concerned about how hard twins would be on my body, but I’ve interviewed a few people for the book who transfered two and had twins, so it’s certainly possible to transfer more than one. There are also procedures called ICSI that help address low sperm count issues like your boyfriend’s.

Good luck, everyone!

Hi Brooke!
I wanted to write and share my experience hoping that it may help you in your quest.
Since you like to be prepared the best advise to give you at this point is this
Before you start trying to conceive(at least 3-6 months prior) make sure your sugars are well controlled. A1C under 7 preferrably under 6.
This will only benefit you and the baby during your pregnancy.

In any healthy woman without diabetes there could always be underlying reasons why they have to see a fertility specialist and can’t conceive. Having Type 1 diabetes should not cause infertility and you should be absolutly fine to get pregnant.

If you have good control before conceiving and start trying and your not pregnant within a year, I would contact your doctor.

My husband and I definitely wanted a family but were NOT consistantly trying to get pregnant
Much to my surprise and joy in December 2008 I got pregnant naturally.
I never had to see and IVF specialist

I had a1c of 7.3 when I found out I was pregnant. I saw a high risk fetal/materal doctor to help monitor baby during pregnancy as well as my regular OB/GYN doctor and also my endo to help with bloodsugars. They guided me throughout my pregnancy.
I had a pretty normal and routine pregnacy. My son did come early at 33 weeks and 4 days but I believe its because he was breech and towards the end of my pregnancy and I had a lot of water retention that I could not control or get rid of. The baby just didnt have any more room to move and my water broke naturally. At 33 weeks and 4 days he was 6 lbs 9.5 oz.
He was pretty big!
Doctor already advised that I would probably go at 36 weeks anyway!

Hope this helps and feel free to email me! Good Luck