Can I Use Oral Contraceptives If I'm A Woman With Diabetes?

Dr. Dokken answers the question: 'Can I Use Oral Contraceptives?'

— -- Question: Can I use oral contraceptives if I'm a woman with diabetes?

Answer: It's critically important for women with diabetes to avoid unplanned pregnancy. The reason for this is because during those very early few weeks of fetal development, high blood glucose levels can cause problems with growth and development, and frequently, a woman doesn't even know that she's pregnant until two, three, or even four weeks after the pregnancy has been conceived.

So, for that reason, it's important for women who are sexually active to use birth control and to only go off of birth control and attempt conception when she knows her diabetes is well controlled, and that would be with a glycated hemoglobin, or a Hemoglobin A1c, of 7 percent or less.

With that said, oral contraceptives are one option for women with diabetes, and the low-dose, either combination or progesterone-only, oral contraceptives have been found to be safe and effective in women with diabetes.

Next: How Does Perimenopause Affect Diabetic Control?

Previous: How Do Hormonal Fluctuations During My Menstrual Cycle Affect My Blood Sugar Levels?