Certain hormonal contraceptive methods could put women at greater risk for gestational diabetes when they become pregnant, according to research published in Preventing Chronic Disease.
Brittney A. Kramer, of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and colleagues looked at data from the Missouri Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System to determine how contraception methods may influence the condition.
Based on the records of 2,741 women who completed the survey in 2007 and 2008, 8.3% of respondents had received a gestational diabetes diagnosis and 17.9% had used some form of hormonal contraception.
Pre-pregnancy contraception methods included hormonal, barrier, fertility awareness, other and none. The hormonal category included the pill, injections, patches, cervical ring or intrauterine devices. Barrier methods included condoms or diaphragm, and fertility awareness included the rhythm or withdrawal methods.
The odds for gestational diabetes was higher for women who had used hormonal methods of birth control vs. those who had used no hormonal contraception (adjusted OR=1.43; 95% CI, 1.32-1.55). Barrier methods of contraception were associated with a protective effect (adjusted OR=0.79; 0.72-0.86).
Increased odds were associated with several other variables, including women older than 30 years (adjusted OR=1.5; 95% CI, 1.34-1.67); women self-identified as non-white or non-black compared with white women (adjusted OR=5.54; 95% CI, 4.9-6.25); and women who were overweight or obese before pregnancy (adjusted OR=3.04; 2.84-3.24).
“Although researchers have not established a causal relationship between hormonal contraception use and gestational diabetes, results of our study suggest there may be an underlying correlating mechanism,” the researchers wrote. “More research is needed to assess hormonal contraception use as a potential risk factor.”
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.