Diabetes mellitus (DM) has profound effects on the female mammalian reproductive system, and early embryonic development, reducing female reproductive outcomes and inducing developmental programming in utero. However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remain poorly defined. Accumulating evidence implicates endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-stress with maternal DM associated pathophysiology. Yet the direct pathologies and causal events leading to ovarian dysfunction and altered early embryonic development have not been determined. Here, using an in vivo mouse model of Type 1 DM and in vitro hyperglycaemia-exposure, we demonstrate the activation of ER-stress within adult ovarian tissue and pre-implantation embryos. In diabetic ovaries, we show that the unfolded protein response (UPR) triggers an apoptotic cascade by the co-activation of Caspase 12 and Cleaved Caspase 3 transducers. Whereas DM-exposed early embryos display differential ER-associated responses; by activating Chop in within embryonic precursors and Caspase 12 within placental precursors. Our results offer new insights for understanding the pathological effects of DM on mammalian ovarian function and early embryo development, providing new evidence of its mechanistic link with ER-stress in mice.