Advertisement
question

Is it safe for me to use birth control pills if I have diabetes?

American Diabetes Association
American Diabetes Association
answer

Birth control pills appear to be safe for women with diabetes to take, and they are certainly safer than a pregnancy for which you are unprepared. There is controversy among diabetes specialists about the best form of birth control for women with diabetes. Under certain circumstances, estrogen-containing birth control pills may affect blood glucose and blood cholesterol levels. For this reason, some physicians have not prescribed them for women with diabetes. Studies have shown, however, that blood glucose levels are no different in women who take birth control pills than in women who do not. Similarly, blood cholesterol and lipid levels are no different in women with diabetes who use birth control pills than in those who do not. There are other effective birth control methods, such as a diaphragm, that will not affect blood glucose at all. If you are concerned, talk to your health care team about which method of birth control will work best for you.

Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Stacy Wiegman, PharmD
Pharmacy Specialist
answer

If you have prediabetes or diabetes, talk with your doctor about whether the birth control pills Levora or Lutera (ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel) make sense for you. Diabetes increases your risk for side effects from oral contraceptives like Levora and Lutera, including serious side effects like heart attack or stroke. These oral contraceptives can also make your blood sugar harder to control. Using an oral contraceptive for more than a year or two may make it more likely that you'll experience complications from your diabetes. If you are taking an oral contraceptive, your doctor should closely monitor your blood sugar levels.

Also, if you have diabetes, you can take medroxyprogesterone, but you should be aware of all of the risks and benefits first. This medication may make diabetes harder to control. Speak to your doctor prior to taking your first dose of medroxyprogesterone about any questions and concerns you may have.

Continue Learning about Living with Diabetes

5 Ways to Protect Your Heart When You Have Diabetes
5 Ways to Protect Your Heart When You Have Diabetes5 Ways to Protect Your Heart When You Have Diabetes5 Ways to Protect Your Heart When You Have Diabetes5 Ways to Protect Your Heart When You Have Diabetes
Keep your heart healthy with these diabetes-friendly lifestyle changes. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s vital to take steps to protect y...
Start Slideshow
What's the Best Workout for You?
What's the Best Workout for You?What's the Best Workout for You?What's the Best Workout for You?What's the Best Workout for You?
Learn how discovering your exercise personality can help you find a workout routine to stick with and enjoy. Do you find yourself making up excuses n...
Start Slideshow
Get Fit With Diabetes: 8 Exercise Mistakes to Avoid
Get Fit With Diabetes: 8 Exercise Mistakes to AvoidGet Fit With Diabetes: 8 Exercise Mistakes to AvoidGet Fit With Diabetes: 8 Exercise Mistakes to AvoidGet Fit With Diabetes: 8 Exercise Mistakes to Avoid
New to exercise? Watch out for these common exercise errors to prevent injury. When you learn how to do something for the first time, mistakes can hap...
Start Slideshow
Living With Diabetes: 9 Ways to Change Your Health Habits
Living With Diabetes: 9 Ways to Change Your Health HabitsLiving With Diabetes: 9 Ways to Change Your Health HabitsLiving With Diabetes: 9 Ways to Change Your Health HabitsLiving With Diabetes: 9 Ways to Change Your Health Habits
Whether it's exercising more, losing weight, quitting smoking or remembering to take your medicine every day, try these tips to change your health hab...
Start Slideshow

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.