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Can Birth Control Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Hormone Contraceptives And How The Body Uses Carbohydrates In Women Without Diabetes

Hormone Contraceptives And How The Body Uses Carbohydrates In Women Without Diabetes

Plain language summary Hormone contraceptives may change how the body handles carbohydrates (starches and sugars). Changes may include lower ability to use sugar from food and more problems with the body's insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body use sugar. Problems with blood sugar can increase risk for diabetes and heart disease. These issues have been raised mainly with birth control methods that contain the hormone estrogen. In April 2014, we looked for randomized trials of how the body handles carbohydrates when using birth control methods with hormones. Outcomes were blood glucose or insulin levels. Birth control methods could contain estrogen and progestin or just progestin. The type could be pills, shots (injections), implants (matchstick‐size rods put under the skin), the vaginal ring, or an intrauterine device (IUD). The studies had to compare two types of birth control or one type versus a placebo or 'dummy' method. We included 31 trials. None had a placebo. Of 34 pairs of birth control methods compared, eight showed some difference by study groups. Twelve trials studied pills with desogestrel. The few differences were not consistent. Three trials looked at the etonogestrel ring. One showed the ring group had lower insulin than the pill group. Eight trials looked at the progestin norethisterone. A group using norethisterone pills had less glucose change than those taking other pills. In another study, a group using the injectable ‘depo’ (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate) had higher glucose and insulin than the group using another injectable. Of five new trials, two used different estrogen types. In one study, a group taking a pill with ethinyl valerate had lower glucose than a group taking a standard pill. Two other trials compared taking pill Continue reading >>

What You Need To Know About Diabetes, Birth Control, And Women's Sexual Health

What You Need To Know About Diabetes, Birth Control, And Women's Sexual Health

Women who maintain better control of their diabetes enjoy better sexual health. The reason? In general, controlling blood glucose decreases risks for specific symptoms that can lead to sexual problems. How Diabetes Affects Sexual Health New studies on the link between diabetes and sexual health have shown that nearly 20 percent of women with type 1 diabetes and over 40 percent of women with type 2 diabetes experience sexual dysfunction. These problems may include: • Decreased vaginal lubrication or vaginal dryness • Pain or discomfort during intercourse • Little to no desire for sexual activity • Minimal or absent sexual response Diabetes can cause these problems because of the many issues that result from poor glucose control, such as: • Nerve damage • Reduced blood flow to genitals • Hormonal changes • Bladder problems • Urinary tract infections In addition, women with diabetes face a higher risk for yeast infections because vaginal secretions contain more sugar, which encourages yeast cells to multiply. Risks for sexual problems go up for diabetic women who have high cholesterol or high blood pressure; are overweight or over 40; and those who smoke. Exercising, controlling weight and blood sugar, and quitting smoking can all help improve sexual health. Birth Control and Diabetes Birth control options for women with diabetes are the same as other women. If your birth control method affects hormone concentrations, such as the pill, know that it can also affect your blood glucose levels. Talk with your doctor about birth control options that won't hamper your diabetes control. Types of birth control methods include: • Hormonal methods—prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation and are about 95 to 99 percent effective. Some options: The pill — choo Continue reading >>

Contraceptive Pill And Diabetes

Contraceptive Pill And Diabetes

Tweet As a woman who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, there should be no reason why you cannot take birth control pills in safety. You should always consult with your doctor before taking the pill. Birth control pills Birth control pills generally fall into two types, although there at present 23 different brands of contraceptive pill on the UK market. Oestrogen and progestin The first contains the hormones oestrogen and progestin, and the second contains progestin alone. Combination pills, those that contain oestrogen and progestin, very rarely cause shifts in blood glucose levels and the ways in which the body controls them. Progesterone Pills which contain only progesterone don’t cause changes in blood glucose control. Further contraceptive methods such as injections and implants are also considered fairly safe for diabetics to use. Loss of control Many women experience a slight loss of control in blood sugars initially when they start taking the pill, but this can usually be rectified by a slight change in treatment regime. Contraceptive pill The contraceptive pill may indirectly complicate diabetes, however. Some of the side-effects of the pill may lead to increased risk of diabetes complications. High blood pressure, for instance, could increase your chance of contracting eye or kidney problems for diabetes. Diabetics who also smoke are advised to seek alternative forms of contraception. Some medical thinking implies that the oestrogen present in birth control pills can increase glucose levels whilst simultaneously decreasing bodily insulin response. Progestin present in birth control pills could also possibly lead to insulin overproduction. Some medical practitioners advise that taking the birth control pill should be limited only to those women who are younger t Continue reading >>

What Is The Safest Birth Control For Women With Diabetes?

What Is The Safest Birth Control For Women With Diabetes?

A recent study indicates that the absolute risk of thromboembolism in women with diabetes taking birth control is low. Thromboembolic events include venous thrombosis, stroke, and heart attack. Women with diabetes generally have a higher likelihood for these events than women without diabetes. Women on birth control generally have a higher risk for thromboembolic events that women not on birth control. The study sought to find out the safety of hormonal contraception regarding thromboembolic events in women with both type 1 and 2 diabetes. Researchers used data from 2002-2011 in Clinformatics Data Mart to pinpoint women in the US between ages 14 and 44 who had diabetes and a prescription for a diabetes medication or device. Then they looked at contraceptive claims and compared time to any case of venous thrombosis, stroke, or heart attack among women who had been prescribed hormonal birth control medication while controlling for age, smoking, obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetic complications, and a history of cancer. Data for women in the three months after giving birth was not included. Does Birth Control Raise Risk of Thromboembolic Events in Diabetic Women? The researchers found 146,080 women with diabetes who had experienced 3,012 thromboembolic events. Of those women, 28 percent of reproductive-aged women with diabetes took hormonal contraception and most of them took estrogen-containing oral contraceptives. Thromboembolic events occurred mostly in women who used the contraceptive patch and lowest among those who used intrauterine and subdermal contraceptives. Researchers wrote in their study abstract that “Compared with use of intrauterine contraception, progestin-only injectable contraception was associated with increased risk of thromboembolism,” Continue reading >>

Diabetes ... Period.

Diabetes ... Period.

About once a month, there's a certain spike to blood sugar patterns that is both predictable and completely chaotic - welcome to this morning's TMI post about diabetes and the menstrual cycle. Two months ago, when the gene for the Factor V Leiden mutation was detected in my blood, my endocrinologist and my gynecologist decided to remove me from my birth control pill and switch me to something with less of a clotting risk. Since I decided to go on the pill when I was a freshman in college, I have always been on the standard estrogen/progesterone pill (I was on the ortho-tricyclen, then tri-sprintec, if you want a good ol' dose of TMI). When it came to diabetes and this kind of pill, there was plenty of information out there, so I had a good idea of what to expect. But this new one? The progesterone only? It's a bit of a wildcard. I'm currently taking the Errin pill (28 days of hormones, no "placebo" pills) and these first two months have been pretty damn tricky. I'm not sure if it's my age, the ticking of my biological clock, or just the changes in my body as I age, but this pill made my emotions run wildly. And the information I've received on this pill has varied. The internet (oh Internet!) informs me that the brand name version of this pill comes with a diabetes-specific warning: "Diabetes patients - Ortho Micronor may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine." Oh for crying out loud ... another variable? I was on the old pill for almost ten years, in total, and I was used to the effects it had on my body. I was accustomed to the 28 day cycle, the guaranteed four day period, and the pre-period spikes weren't dramatic. I actually noticed a drop in my insulin needs while I was on the Continue reading >>

New Contraception Options

New Contraception Options

Given that approximately half of all pregnancies in the United States every year are unplanned, birth control is an important consideration for all sexually active women at risk of becoming pregnant. In the case of women with diabetes, however, precision in family planning is even more crucial because of the effect of high blood glucose on the developing fetus. “There’s a very close correlation between blood sugar level and the incidence of birth defects in the offspring of women with diabetes,” says Jo M. Kendrick, MSN a clinical instructor at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and author of Diabetes in Pregnancy (a guide for nurses). According to Kendrick, “Anytime you have a[n HbA1c] level of 7% or greater, there’s an increased risk of birth defects in the offspring or, as it rises even higher, an increased risk of miscarriage.” The HbA1c, or glycosylated hemoglobin, test gives an indication of average blood glucose control over the previous 2–3 months. People who don’t have diabetes generally have an HbA1c level between 4% and 6%. Because of these risks, women with diabetes are advised to bring their blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible before attempting to conceive. In addition, any woman with diabetes who is considering having a baby should have a physical exam and a laboratory assessment to look for any evidence of vascular (blood vessel) disease, since pregnancy can put a great deal of stress on the vascular system. Having eyes and kidney function assessed is another important part of preconception care for women with diabetes. According to Kendrick, “We very strongly encourage women to get an eye exam to make sure that they don’t have any retinopathy, an EKG [ele Continue reading >>

Diabetes And The Pill

Diabetes And The Pill

This is the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill; a tiny thing that has revolutionized society. Taking the pill does tend to increase blood glucose levels so it might be useful to consider the ramifications of using this pregnancy avoidance tool while managing one’s diabetes. The pill essentially consists of some combination of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones provide important instructions to reproductive tissues in a carefully timed fashion. Birth control pills create a hormonal state that makes the body think it is already pregnant and blocks any new eggs developing. Thus actual pregnancy is avoided. Probably the first thing you have focused on is this increase in blood glucose. How much are we talking about? Actually – not much. The amount of increase in non-diabetic women is considered by the American Diabetes Association not enough to be concerned about. For women with diabetes, however, the debate is spirited. One school of thought is that any increase in blood sugar is an increase in risk and should be concerning. The other school of thought, of course, is that the benefits of avoiding an unwanted pregnancy outweigh the minimal risk. We have known for quite some time that birth control pills decrease insulin sensitivity and this is caused entirely by progesterone. The mechanism appears to be complicated in that progesterone seems to act at multiple levels in the insulin signaling pathway. Interestingly, the progesterone receptor, upon binding progesterone, travels to the nucleus of the cell and regulates the expression of numerous genes. Several of these genes target the insulin signaling pathway in a variety of ways suggesting that this is a very deliberate piece of evolutionary integration. About a decade ago, a progesterone onl Continue reading >>

Contraceptives And Diabetes

Contraceptives And Diabetes

In North America, many women are often prescribed birth control medication (often known as oral contraceptive pills or hormonal pills) for treating various conditions as well as preventing unplanned pregnancy. However, as contraceptive treatments become available without a prescription in the United States, many women lack the knowledge of the risks and side effects of these methods. For women who are in the prediabetes category or already suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes, these treatments cause severe problems with the blood glucose management. To better educate women about how contraceptive methods affect the blood glucose level and various diabetes symptoms, this article will be covering these topics below: How Does Hormonal Contraceptive Work? In order to explain how hormonal contraceptives affect the blood glucose level and other diabetes symptoms, it is imperative that we explain how a woman becomes pregnant and how the hormonal contraceptives work: What Happens When A Woman Becomes Pregnant? In order for pregnancy to occur, 2 things need to happen: 1. an egg is released from the ovaries during the ovulation period and is transported to the fallopian tube, and 2. a man’s sperm has successfully fertilized the egg. Once these two events occur, the fertilized egg will attach to the inside of the uterus. (from medical standpoint, pregnancy begins the moment the fertilized egg is attached to the uterus wall). This event allows the egg to receive nourishment from the mother so that it develop into a baby. In order to shut off the egg production and to sustain the fetus’ development, the secretion of estrogen and progesterone are highly elevated. As a result, some women develop gestation diabetes during their pregnancy. I advise you to read the following arti Continue reading >>

Diabetes & Birth Control

Diabetes & Birth Control

Diabetes & birth control at a glance Birth control pills, patches, implants, injections, and rings are generally considered to be safe forms of contraception for diabetic women, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). However, the estrogen in birth control pills can raise blood glucose levels, which increase a diabetic’s resistance to insulin and may require an adjustment in the insulin she receives. Because of the effects of estrogen, some physicians do not prescribe hormone-based birth control for some diabetic women. The ADA says that combination birth control pills containing synthetic estrogen and norgestinate are best for women with diabetes. The effect of birth control on diabetes The inconclusive results of various research studies have led to controversy over the potential harmful effect of birth control pills for diabetic women. Some studies show that women who take birth control pills or other methods containing estrogen have higher blood glucose levels and blood cholesterol levels. Other studies show no differences in those levels between women taking birth control pills and women who don’t. Factors to consider Higher glucose levels resulting from the estrogen in birth control pills may require an increase in a diabetic woman’s need for insulin. Higher cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart attack, and diabetics already have an increased risk of heart attack. Some physicians recommend that diabetic women take birth control pills with the lowest dose of estrogen possible for effective contraception. Other birth control methods that employ estrogen, such as implants, patches, injections and vaginal rings, can also affect a woman’s diabetes. Studies indicate that diabetic women who take birth control pills for more than two years ma Continue reading >>

20 Reasons For Blood Sugar Swings

20 Reasons For Blood Sugar Swings

Upswing: Caffeine Your blood sugar can rise after you have coffee -- even black coffee with no calories -- thanks to the caffeine. The same goes for black tea, green tea, and energy drinks. Each person with diabetes reacts to foods and drinks differently, so it's best to keep track of your own responses. Ironically, other compounds in coffee may help prevent type 2 diabetes in healthy people. Many of these will raise your blood sugar levels. Why? They can still have plenty of carbs from starches. Check the total carbohydrates on the Nutrition Facts label before you dig in. You should also pay attention to sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and xylitol. They add sweetness with fewer carbs than sugar (sucrose), but they may still have enough to boost your levels. One study found that people with type 2 diabetes who switched to a vegan (or all vegetable-based) diet had better blood sugar control and needed less insulin. A boost in fiber from whole grains and beans might play a role, by slowing down the digestion of carbs. But scientists need more research to know if going vegan really helps diabetes. Talk to your doctor before you make major diet changes. Blood sugar can dip dangerously low during shut-eye for some people with diabetes, especially if they take insulin. It's best to check your levels at bedtime and when you wake up. A snack before bed may help. For some people, blood sugar can rise in the morning -- even before breakfast -- due to changes in hormones or a drop in insulin. Regular testing is important. One option is a continuous blood glucose monitor, which can alert you to highs and lows. Physical activity is a great health booster for everyone. But people with diabetes should tailor it to what they need. When you work out hard enough to sweat and raise your h Continue reading >>

Birth Control And Diabetes

Birth Control And Diabetes

My endocrinologist has recommended that I begin birth control to stop my periods completely as they are wreaking complete havoc on my diabetes control. Some months I cannot get under 200 around this time and some months like this last one I ended up in the hospital because of constant lows and all of a sudden needed little to no insulin. This seems to all be around the time of my period. I am a fan of no meds and am very hesitant to do this. Any of you on birth control? How does it affect your diabetes control? Their thought is that if my periods are completely stopped and I take birth control without stopping that my hormones will become stabilized and my blood sugars more predictable. HELP! I am exhausted on this blood sugar roller coaster!! I took birth control and it helped make my periods more predictable, and thus how my blood sugars would act more predictable. I didn't take it to stop my periods, I just took it normally (3 weeks of a pill, 1 week of a placebo), but since it made everything more regular, I was able to change my insulin accordingly. What seems pretty common for most people, is that they have insulin resistance (highs) the week or so leading up to their periods, and then insulin sensitivity (lows) the week of their period. That is exactly what I experienced, so I adjusted my basal rates accordingly. I'm on an insulin pump, and I found that having the ability to vary my basal rates so much at any given time was extremely helpful in dealing with the hormonal changes that come every month. I don't know if you're on a pump or shots or what kind if treatment you are using, so it might not be as easy for you to make adjustments as it would be with a pump or MDI. I'm also not sure how things would be if you didn't have a period at all, though. Any way, I Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Birth Control

Type 2 Diabetes And Birth Control

Some methods of contraception can have an effect on your blood sugar. Learn about birth control options for women with type 2 diabetes. A woman who has type 2 diabetes, formerly called adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin-dependent diabetes, has to face the same issues that confront most women, such as choosing a birth control method. However, unlike women who don’t have diabetes, she must take into account about how the form of contraception she chooses will affect her blood sugar levels, as well as the rest of her body. Type 2 Diabetes and Birth Control Pills In the past, birth control pills weren’t usually recommended for women with diabetes because of the hormonal changes the medication could cause. High doses of hormones can have a dramatic effect on blood sugar levels, making it harder for women to control their diabetes. However, research into new formulations has resulted in many different, lighter combinations of hormones. These new pills are safer for many women, not just those with diabetes. According to Brian Tulloch, MD, endocrinologist at Park Plaza Hospital and Medical Center and clinical associate professor at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, a woman with type 2 diabetes who chooses to use birth control pills should take the lowest possible dose that is still effective in order to help limit the effects the medication has on the diabetes. One thing women taking birth control pills should remember is that there is still an increased risk for heart attack or stroke among women who use this form of contraception. Since people with diabetes also have an increased risk of heart disease, this is something that women should discuss with their doctors. Type 2 Diabetes and Other Hormonal Contraception Birth control pills aren’t the only way Continue reading >>

Birth Control & Type 1

Birth Control & Type 1

Note: This article is part of our Daily Life library of resources. To learn more about the many things that affect your health and daily management of Type 1, visit here. The subject of birth control with relation to Type 1 diabetes has always been a tricky subject, with inconsistent results. Hormones have been known to have an impact on blood glucose levels, but hormones affect everyone differently, so in terms of contraception, what works for one person might be completely wrong for another. Here are some observations and facts to keep in mind when considering your birth control options while managing your Type 1! IUDs There are a couple of different types of IUDs that will interact with the body differently. The first type is a copper IUD, which is inserted by your doctor, and can last for up to ten years. It is the copper itself that kills the sperm, preventing pregnancy. The other type of IUD (Mirena) is plastic, and it is a hormonal IUD. It contains the progestin hormone levonorgestrel, which is also used in the “morning after pill,” and it can last up to five years – half the time span of a copper IUD. There have been many reports of the hormones in Mirena causing severe blood sugar changes as well as acne, weight gain, and mood swings. IUDs in general are not recommended for women who contract pelvic infections easily. Women with Type 1 diabetes with higher A1Cs can be more susceptible to such infections, so it is important to be in excellent control of your Type 1 before considering any IUD. The Ring The ring is a flexible device that is inserted into the vagina and worn for three weeks. It is then replaced after one week of not wearing one. The hormones in the ring are absorbed directly into the vagina, therefore bypassing the digestive system all togeth Continue reading >>

Contraception

Contraception

Birth control in an important issue as there are greater risks for you and your baby if the pregnancy is unplanned All contraceptive options are the available for you, your partner and your doctor to choose from. In the past, women with type 1 diabetes were advised to avoid taking the birth control pill because of an effect on blood glucose and the risk for heart disease and stroke. However, changes to the level of hormones in the pill in the last few decades have greatly decreased the risk of these problems. Blood glucose fluctuations are more likely with combination pills, and some doctors may suggest progestin-only (‘mini’) pills to avoid this issue. There was also concern that IUDs (also known as the coil) might pose an increased risk of pelvic infection or trauma to the uterine wall, and women with type 1 diabetes might be particularly vulnerable to these infections. The new generation of coils appear to be safe in this respect. Using a diaphragm does not affect blood glucose levels but you be have an increased risk of yeast infections. Speak with your doctor and healthcare team about suitable contraception options. Continue reading >>

Reproductive And Sexual Health

Reproductive And Sexual Health

Estrogen and progesterone are the two hormones that play the most important role in regulating a woman's reproductive cycles. These two hormones can interact with another important hormone, insulin. This section will explore how the interaction of these hormones can affect the lives of women living with diabetes. We will also discuss how living with diabetes can influence your sexual experiences both physically and emotionally. Having diabetes can influence some of the major events in a woman's reproductive life. Be sure to check out the sections on Pregnancy and Menopause. Menstruation Hormones control the menstrual cycle in a woman. These hormones can also affect your blood glucose. Many women notice fluctuations in blood glucose at certain times in their monthly cycle, such as an increase in blood glucose a few days prior to the beginning of their period and then a decrease once the period begins. This increase usually occurs after ovulation and before menstruation. Changes are due to two hormones, estrogen and progesterone. When these hormones are at their highest level just before your period, they affect another important hormone, insulin, which may, in turn, cause blood glucose to rise. Some women find their blood glucose rises considerably, while others do not notice a difference. In some women, blood glucose levels are lower before and during their periods. Each woman needs to discover her own pattern. Often it is the fasting blood glucose before breakfast that tends to fluctuate the most in women with type 1 diabetes during the time just before a period begins. Adjusting your insulin often helps. When your period begins and your blood glucose levels go down, readjust your insulin back to its former level. If you have type 2 diabetes and do not take insulin, re Continue reading >>

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