Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Obese women taking certain forms of hormonal birth control may be at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to obese women using nonhormonal contraception, according to a new study from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

The metabolic effects of progestin-only, long-acting contraception, such as the progestin-releasing IUD (a small, T-shaped device that is placed in the uterus) and a progestin-releasing device implanted under the skin, have been studied in normal-weight women. To determine the metabolic effects of these contraceptives in healthy obese, reproductive-age women, researchers observed the metabolic markers over six months in three groups of obese women: a control group that was using nonhormonal birth control options, such as condoms, the copper IUD, or sterilization; a second group using the progestin-releasing IUD; and a third group using a progestin-releasing skin implant.

The researchers found that all three categories of contraception were safe and effective, and that none caused an increase in blood pressure, weight, or cholesterol. However, women using the progestin-releasing skin implant had a 10% increase in fasting blood glucose levels, compared to a 5% increase in women using the progestin-releasing IUD and a 2% decrease in those using nonhormonal methods. Similar patterns were seen in women’s sensitivity to insulin. In a 2012 study, the same research team discovered that obese women receiving a progestin birth control shot every three months might be at increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Choosing a birth-control method requires consideration of many factors, including the patient’s lifestyle and willingness to use the method, desire for future fertility, and risk for a host of diseases — diabetes and endometrial cancer being two of them for obese women,

noted study coinvestigator Penina Segall-Gutierrez, MD, MSc.

We would like to expand our most recent study by looking at more participants over a longer period of time to see if the metabolic effects we observed in the progestin-releasing implants persist or are only temporary.

Segall-Gutierrez further noted that the progestin-releasing IUD has a number of benefits, including protection against heavy menstrual bleeding and endometrial cancer, both of which disproportionately affect obese women.

For more information, read the article “Certain Hormonal Contraceptives May Pose Risk of Type 2 Diabetes for Obese Women” or see the study’s abstract in the journal Contraception. And to learn more about contraceptive options, read this piece from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


  1. There are no comments at this time.

Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of Madavor Media, LLC., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.

Type 2 Diabetes
High-Salt Diet Doubles Heart Risk in Type 2 Diabetes (07/25/14)
Insulin for Type 2 (07/14/14)
Rutgers Recruiting for Type 2 Diabetes Study (07/03/14)
One in Ten Heart Attack Patients Has Undiagnosed Diabetes (06/19/14)

Diabetes Research
High-Salt Diet Doubles Heart Risk in Type 2 Diabetes (07/25/14)
Whey Protein to Prevent After-Meal Blood Sugar Spikes? (07/18/14)
Metformin More Effective in African-Americans (07/10/14)
Diabetes Distress and Depression (07/09/14)

Diabetes News
High-Salt Diet Doubles Heart Risk in Type 2 Diabetes (07/25/14)
Whey Protein to Prevent After-Meal Blood Sugar Spikes? (07/18/14)
Metformin More Effective in African-Americans (07/10/14)
FDA Approves Inhalable Insulin (07/03/14)

Diane Fennell
High-Salt Diet Doubles Heart Risk in Type 2 Diabetes (07/25/14)
Whey Protein to Prevent After-Meal Blood Sugar Spikes? (07/18/14)
Metformin More Effective in African-Americans (07/10/14)
FDA Approves Inhalable Insulin (07/03/14)



Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.

Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring — Part 1: The Gear
Blood glucose self-monitoring is one of the keys to diabetes control. Here are the tools you need to carry out this task.

Perfectionism: An Impossible Goal in Diabetes Management
Striving for good self-care is important, but perfectionism can make diabetes care — and life — more difficult.

Recipes for Spring
Enjoy recipes for Baked salmon on beet greens, Tofu and snow pea slaw, Radish and cucumber salad, Spinach pinwheels, Beet salad with citrus dressing, and Stuffed berries.

Complete table of contents
Subscription questions