Birth control and diabetes is a subject that may concern every woman who is a diabetic. But there is no preferred method for diabetics so it just comes down to a matter of preference after discussion with your physician.
Birth control pills are still the most popular form of birth control with all women including women with diabetes. Often in the past, women diabetics would be advised to not take birth control pills because these pills could have an effect on blood glucose level and also the pills raise the risk of stroke and heart disease which is already high for diabetics. This advice was based on doses of estrogen and progestin which is the synthetic form of progesterone. But in the last 2 or more decades, the amount of these hormones has greatly decreased which in turn has lowered the risk of these diseases or problems with birth control pills.
Currently birth control pills are available with combination estrogen and progestin or with progestin only. The lower dose combination pill does in some cases affect blood glucose readings so regular monitoring for adjustments of any diabetes medication is needed. Because of this, some physicians might advise the progestin only pills, as blood glucose levels don’t fluctuate with these pills. But these pills have many common side effects such as breast pain, break-thru bleeding, irritability and weight gain.
Because of these problems with the pill, many diabetics often prefer (IUD) intrauterine devices especially those who are in stable monogamous relationships. There were concerns in the past for IUDs posing an elevated risk for infections of the pelvic as well as trauma to uterine walls. Because of this they were considered risky for diabetics who are susceptible to infections anyway. But the latest IUDs are much safer in regards to infections.
Condoms especially when used with a spermicidal gel or form are a barrier method that does not affect blood glucose levels. With correct use they are about 85% effective in preventing pregnancy.
Diaphragms are another barrier method that’s effectiveness in preventing pregnancy is around 95%. They need to be fitted correctly and should also be used with spermicidal gel or foam. But there is an elevated risk of yeast infections for women who are diabetics.
There are other hormone contraceptives including Depo-Provera, or Norplant with are available to diabetes. Depo-Provera is an injection that is given every three months and Norplant is a small capsule that is injected under the skin on the arm and works for around 5 years by slowly releasing medication. Both of these options can affect blood glucose levels so regular monitoring to adjust diabetes medication is extremely important.
Birth control and diabetes is a subject that may concern every woman who is diabetic. But there is no preferred method for diabetics that is any better than another so it just comes down to a matter for preference after discussion with your physician.
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