Use of Hormonal Contraceptions Lead to Increased Risk of Gestational Diabetes in Women: Study Says

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Birth control pill
IN PHOTO: An illustration picture shows a woman holding a birth control pill at her home in Nice January 3, 2013. Reuters

Birth control methods are something thousands of women rely on.

But a new report suggests that there are more than one ways different birth control methods may be associated with higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. It was found those who were on hormonal birth control had increased their risk of gestational diabetes by 40 percent.

This relationship between Gestational Diabetes Mellitus or GDM and hormonal contraceptives was established through analysing data from 2,741 pregnancies. The data was collected for two surveys in 2007 and 2008 by the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS).

The study involved monitoring experiences of first time mothers before, during and after pregnancy. The participants answered questions on their individual history of GDM and the types of birth control they used before and after pregnancy such as vasectomy, tubal ligation, condoms, birth control pills, contraceptive patches, injections, cervical ring, diaphragm, intrauterine device, withdrawal, rhythm method or any other method.

The study also took into account parameters like race, education, income level, prenatal care level and quality and marital status of every participant.

The researchers observed that women who used hormonal contraception came across to possess 1.4 times more risk of developing gestational diabetes. Other contributing factors that are related to GDM, include weight and age. 30 years old and above were 1.5 times more at risk to develop gestational diabetes than those who were below 20 years. Women with excess weight or prior to their pregnancies had a 3.04 higher risk to GDM than those of normal weight.

"Gestational diabetes is a potentially serious condition that affects many pregnancies. The significant potential complications of diabetes in pregnancy was in large part responsible for the now universal recommendation that all pregnant women be tested for diabetes at approximately 28 weeks, earlier if certain high risk categories exist," Birth and Women's Care OB-GYN Andre Hall, MD from Fayetteville, North Carolina said.

Further investigation is required to generate better understanding of this concept.

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