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Diabetes and Birth Control Pills
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Diabetes and Birth Control Pills

I've been a type 1 diabetic for 12 1/2 years.  My doctor took me of Humulin N because A1c was 5.5 and I would experience lows through out the day.  With diet and exercise, my blood sugars were pretty good.  When my gynecologist put me on Birth Control Pills, seems as if my blood sugars got worse.  The next prescriptions would be Glucophage twice daily.  Things didn't get better.  This medication was discontinued and I was prescribed Glucovance.  Oh my God.  My blood sugars soared to over 400.  I ended up in the emergency room twice and immediately was put back on Humulin N (20u in the morning and 10u at bedtime).  After doing research, I found out that birth control makes diabetic women blood sugars worse.  Has anyone hears of such?
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Avatar_n_tn
Birth control pills, as you have found, can cause a rise in your blood sugars. My understanding is that the hormones in birth control pills can interfere with the effectiveness of the insulin you take.  This doesn't mean you can't use birth control, it just means you may need to test more often and adjust your insulin to meet the requirements of your body on birth control.  You may want to ask your doctor to prescribe a birth control pill that has a lower hormone dose.  

I was a little surprised that your doctor put you on an oral medication after having done so well for so many years on insulin. I am not a doctor, but my understanding of Type I is that insulin is the only medication that will work since our bodies are not producing any insulin.  I think it is unusual for  a Type I Diabetic to be taken off insulin and to be able to remain in control with diet and exercise alone. But, then again, diabetes does affect each person differently.  I would encourage you to always discuss any changes in your insulin with an endocrinologist who specializes in diabetes.  An endocrinologist will also be able to help you manage the impact of birth control on your blood sugars.  There are so many new insulins out there.  Your doctor should be able to recommend a routine that you can live with, without execessive lows or highs.  Good luck.  Diabetes can be a challenge and there is always something new to deal with.
ES
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Avatar_n_tn
There are also many different formulations of BCP's out there...and trying different types may be helpful to you and your diabetic control.

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Avatar_m_tn
Even if you get sort of sick from the birth control pills and diabetes, you NEED to keep taking your birth control pills! Having some flucuations in glucose levels can be controlled with the work of your gyno and endo. However, it is very dangerous for a diabetic woman to get pregnant. No diabetic woman should ever risk getting pregnant. I can't wrap my brain around diabetic females I know who continue to get pregnant and have baby after baby. It is just a matter of time before something goes wrong with them and the baby. I am a diabetic woman and ever since I was diagnosed at nineteen (I am now thirty three) every doctor I have ever seen from my my family doctor , to gynos, to endocronolgists, have stresse over and over to avoid getting pregnant. The risks are endless. It isn't worth it , really. You can always adopt if you want children that badly. I don't think it is even a good idea though in general for diabetic women to have children at all,  not just their own biological, but even adoption. Diabetes is unpredictable, you never know when you are going to be too high, too low, feel sick, need to eat, need to take insulin. There are so many constant doctor appontments and appointments with  nutrionist involved. There isn't time in a diabetic woman's life to have a child, and it isn't a safe enviroment for a child to have a mother that could pass out any second and leave them alone, or get sick and not be able to take care of the child. Besides, birth control has been proven to lower the risk of cancer by  nearly 50%, so that is  another beneficial and essential thing for us as diabetic women. We don't need diabetes on top of cancer on top of having a bunch of  babies we can't care for, are sick because of us, and we are sick because of them!  My boyfriend and I talked about it, and he said it isn't worth losing me during childbirth for a kid we don't really want or need anyway. We decided that I will be on birth control throughout our relationship, and if I do end up pregnant by mistake, I will get an abortion ASAP. I was on Ortho Tricylen for awhile and that was ok. I got tired of going to the pharmacy to get it filled (this was before Obama passed the amazing ACA ensuring all contraception is free for all women) and so I swtiched to Depo for awhile. My regular gyno didn't want to start me on Depo, some stuff about how it increases blood sugar. I got very frustrated with her, because it is MY body MY choice, and like I said...a few days here and there of elevated blood sugars is better than becoming pregnant and having to get an abortion, and not because the abortion is bad, but that puts me as a diabetic woman at risk also. My regular gyno would not let me start the Depo, and she also refused an IUD stating the risk of infection in diabetic women. So I stopped seeing her, and found a local community family planning center. No questions asked, they did my exam, which they did faster and with less hassel and discomfort than my gyno did, and they gave me what type of contraception I wanted. Yes, the nurse practioner there knows I am diabetic and use insulin. I didn't hide it from her, of course I wouldn't want to do that! She agreed it was rather nonsensical for an MD to believe that those things are "bad" for diabetic women, because there isn't any studies to prove such things. So anyway, first I started with the Depo. I did that for about a year, but got sick of going to the clinic to always get my shot every few months, and like I said, that was before the ACA , so I was paying each time. So after a year, when I went back for my second annual pap and pelvic and all that "fun" stuff with the same NP, she agreed that a Mirena was the best bet for me. I originally was going to do the Paragard because I liked the idea of ten years of continuous prevention, but the NP thought the hormone in the Mirena was best , for the cancer reduction reasons, and because I was starting to have worse menstral cramps. I have to say, getting the IUD inserted was NOT a cake walk. Ever since I was fifteen and started going in for regular gyno checks, I thought the normal pap/pelvic/vago-rectal stuff was the worst thing in the world...well I was wrong! A normal gyno check is a walk in the park compared to getting an IUD. I am not going to lie. It was really bad. I took pain killers before I went in, like they said, and it still hurt like a mofo! I can't imagine what it would have been like if I didn't..urgh. However, the place I found, like when they did my pap and pelvic, worked quickly and it was all in and done in less than ten minutes. It was however, the worst ten minutes of my life, and I'd never want to go through it again. That is why I tell everyone, no matter what cramping or hormonal issues I have with the Mirena, this thing is staying put until my five years are up! After I got the IUD, there was a lot of cramping. I'd compare it to really bad period cramps, but it was bearable, it wasn't torture like some women claim. After I got my IUD, I took more pain meds, came home and rested , took the day off work (just called in and said I had female issues, which was the truth!) and by the end of the week the craming was getting less and less. I did have some weird things happen , like nose bleeds, and breast tenderness, but that all went away also. I have had my Mirena for almost a year and a half now, and haven't had any issues with it. My blood sugar has been constantly normal besides the usual ups and downs that are expected, and my sex life with my bf is healthy, active, safe, and better than it ever was when we were relying on condoms, then "the pill", then Depo!  The only  major issue I had was that my bf could feel the strings on the IUD, so when I went in for the "check" I had the NP cut the strings. Now he can't feel them at all. I'd recommend that you STAY ON BIRTH CONTROL, whatver type you are taking if it works, but if not. I'd recomment the Mirena. I mean, I think something like 20 million women worldwide are using it, so the propaganda you hear against it is totally wrong, and you can deal with the insertion process, and the embarassment of that procedure...20 million of us have! You just have to "woman up" and deal with it. Just like you had to "woman up" and deal with your first gyno exam!  I think it should be mandatory and part of the regular regimne of treatment for diabetic women, just like insulin is. A diabetic woman should be prescribed insulin, and oral diabetes medications if that helps, and also some form of birth control. It just isn't wise or logical or safe for a diabetic woman to NOT be on birth control. In fact, I dont' find it wise at for ANY woman to not be using some form of contraception. I think ALL women need to be on some type of birth control. It is just a basic part of health, wellness and prevention for all women starting around the age of fourteen and onward until she decides to have a tubaligation, hysterectomy, or hits menopause! My bf has a daughter from a previous marriage (he is a bit older than me lol), and she just turned fifteen. She ddidn't live with us, and when she came to visit I was STUNNED that her mother had not yet got on her to the gyno for her first exam, hadn't started the HPV vaccine, and hadn't got her on any sort of birth control! I talked to my bf about it, and when she came to live with us the last two years of high school...before her junior year that girl had a pap test, pelvic exam, breast exam, got the HPV vaccine, and was started on the Depo ...which is the best choice for a teenage girl. When she goes off to college in a year and a half, she is getting the Mirena! She doesn't have  say in it. She isn't going off to college without sort of protection she can rely on! I am very pro-birth control. I think it is the best thing invented for women and the most empowering thing ever. It gives us total control overour bodies and our choices and our future like  nothing else does.
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231441_tn?1333896366
Hello,

I have to comment because although diabetes can lead to pregnancy problems if it is uncontrolled, with controlled diabetes there is very little pregnancy risk.

Yes, it takes lots of work, but it is certainly safely doable.

I have had 2 diabetic pregnancies using insulin.  The first my hba1c was 4.9 at the end of the pregnancy.  I had only 1 serious low (due to inadequate education).  My daugther was 7 lbs 3 oz and perfect.  Second pregnancy HBA1C at the end was 5.6. Baby was 7 lbs 6 oz and again, perfect.

I still have diabetes, I manage it with insulin.  My latest A1c is 4.9 and I am very healthy and don't have lows.  It takes work, but it is manageable.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you.  I agree with your response to treena.... And, if there are some problems with your blood sugar when you get pregnant due to the hormones, then being on the bcp, (which simulates pregnancy) can do the same exact thing!!  Many women, including myself, have had blood sugar problems on the pill.  I wouldn't be taking it at all (if it weren't for the fact that I have severe endometriosis) so having my period is dangerous for me.  I take them in a way, so I do not have a period... but, I've been miserable with it for many reasons and I'm not sure what is worse.  If, at all possible, I always recommend that people learn more about natural ways of taking care of our bodies.

Separate from the pill, I have seen several people who cured their diabetes through natural methods.  My Grandmother was diabetic on my father's side and she had a lot of children and was a great mother.

The bottom line is, always do your research.;)
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you.  I agree with your response to treena.... And, if there are some problems with your blood sugar when you get pregnant due to the hormones, then being on the bcp, (which simulates pregnancy) can do the same exact thing!!  Many women, including myself, have had blood sugar problems on the pill.  I wouldn't be taking it at all (if it weren't for the fact that I have severe endometriosis) so having my period is dangerous for me.  I take them in a way, so I do not have a period... but, I've been miserable with it for many reasons and I'm not sure what is worse.  If, at all possible, I always recommend that people learn more about natural ways of taking care of our bodies.

Separate from the pill, I have seen several people who cured their diabetes through natural methods.  My Grandmother was diabetic on my father's side and she had a lot of children and was a great mother.

The bottom line is, always do your research.;)
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Avatar_f_tn
I can't believe the nonsense that Treena said! Yes it takes extra work when you're pregnant and have diabetes but with good control it's not all that more dangerous than any other woman being pregnant.  I also can't believe how easily she talks about having an abortion. Don't even get me started on making birth control decisions for her step daughter.  I have Type 2 diabetes and had "cured" it with diet and excersice but since I started taking birth control it has come back. Notated what I eat and how much I excersice it doesn't seem to help, so birth control is not always best for diabetic women. Besides that I think keeping things as natural as possible is best anyway.
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm sorry but I think you are an idiot. Poor women being diagnosed with this is bad enough, then you telling them they should never have a baby? As long as they are well controlled there is NOTHING wrong with diabetics having a baby! You can't think that because they have a condition they not have time for their children! Course they do! You don't have to go every day to the docs! Also, imagine if you are a healthy female, high risk of cancer due to family history, you have a baby. Are you saying they shouldn't have a baby in case they are diagnosed hen they have a baby?  A million check ups, hospital appointments etc. honestly, if an if u women want a baby, work hard on ur sugars and you can! Don't listen to this woman!!!
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