Does Type 1 Diabetes Affect Male Infertility: Type 1 Diabetes Exchange Registry-Based Analysis

  • Omer A. Raheem
  • Marah C. Hehemann
  • Marc J. Rogers
  • Judy N. Fustok
  • Irl B. Hirsch
  • Thomas J. Walsh
Keywords: Type 1 diabetes, male infertility, clinical predictors


Introduction: The prevalence of type 1 diabetes (T1D) has been increasing over the last few decades and is commonly believed to negatively impact male fertility. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of infertility among men with T1D and to characterize potential clinical predictors for male infertility among men with T1D.
Methods: We used data collected from the T1D Exchange Registry from 2012 to 2017. Men with T1D completed
an infertility questionnaire indicating whether they had ever had problems conceiving a child or had ever received abnormal results from infertility testing. Collected data included age at questionnaire, age at diagnosis of T1D, duration of T1D, race/ethnicity, insurance status, education level, annual household income, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), low density lipoprotein (LDL), diabetic retinopathy, micro/macroalbuminuria, and renal failure.
Results: The survey was completed by 2171 registry members, 33 (1.5%) of whom reported male infertility. Mean age at questionnaire was 38 and 56 years in the fertile and infertile groups, respectively (P < 0.001). There was no statistically significant difference in the mean age at T1D diagnosis (16 and 27 years), mean duration of T1D at questionnaire (22 and 30 years), white non-Hispanic ethnicity (1906/2138, 89% versus 30/33, 91%), private insurance (1509/2138, 79% versus 30/33, 91%), and annual household income in US dollars ≥ $100 000 (757/2138, 45% versus 16/33, 55%) in the fertile and infertile men, respectively. On multivariate analysis, for each year of advancing age, men were 5% more likely to experience infertility. Age at questionnaire was the only significant predictor of infertility (OR 1.05; 95%CI 1.03 to 1.08). Age at T1D diagnosis (OR 1.01; 95%CI 0.99 to 1.04), duration of T1D (OR 0.99; 95%CI 0.96 to 1.01), mean HbA1C (OR 1.03; 95%CI 0.77 to 1.37), diabetic retinopathy (OR 1.04; 95%CI 0.50 to 2.15), and mean LDL (OR 1.01; 95%CI 0.99 to 1.02) failed to independently predict infertility; however, presence of renal failure (OR 3.38; 95%CI 0.94 to 12.13) and micro/macroalbuminuria (OR 1.27; 95%CI 0.42 to 3.82) trended toward increased odds of infertility.
Conclusions: This study highlights the prevalence of male infertility among men with T1D. Beyond age, there were no independent clinical predictors for male infertility among men with T1D; however, men with clinical evidence of diabetes-associated renal compromise trended toward greater odds of infertility. Further studies of fertility in this growing, at-risk population are warranted.

How to Cite
Raheem, O. A., Hehemann, M. C., Rogers, M. J., Fustok, J. N., Hirsch, I. B., & Walsh, T. J. (2021). Does Type 1 Diabetes Affect Male Infertility: Type 1 Diabetes Exchange Registry-Based Analysis. Société Internationale d’Urologie Journal, 2(3), 139-143.
Original Research