This is the best kind of birth control for women with diabetes, and it’s one more reason why we need affordable access

As every woman who uses birth control knows, it can be a challenge to find the method that suits us best — and for women with certain medical conditions, it’s even more difficult. A new study has found  that the best, safest forms of birth control for women with diabetes are IUDs (intrauterine devices) and contraceptive implants that are placed under the skin. IUDs and contraceptive implants are the two most effective hormonal birth control methods for all women in terms of pregnancy prevention, but affordable access is crucial for individuals with diabetes.

Hormonal contraceptives increase a woman’s risk for blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes — and women with diabetes are already at an increased risk for blood clots.

A study lead by Dr. Eleanor Bimla Schwarz of the University of California, Davis analyzed data on 146,080 diabetic American women between the ages of 14 and 44. She and her colleagues report that blood clots were most common among women using estrogen-containing contraceptive patches, and second most common among women who used progestin injections for birth control.

Rates of blood clots were dramatically lower for diabetic women who used progestin-only IUDs and under-the-skin (subdermal) contraceptives.


"In some ways, that’s a convenient finding, because...IUDs and implants are the most effective form of contraceptive," Schwarz tells Reuters Health.

Of course, it’s up to women to choose which form of birth control works best for them — but studies like this are proof of why affordable access to all forms of contraception is a necessity.

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