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Revealed: The scary health risk every overweight woman needs to know about contraception

by , 07 October 2014

You might not think twice about your choice of contraceptive if you're healthy. But if you're overweight or obese - even without other health issues - it might not be so good for you.

A recent study by the Keck University in Southern California found that type 2 diabetes risks in overweight and obese women on a hormonal contraceptive is higher than women using a non-hormonal one.

And it all has to do with the hormone the contraceptive releases to stop you from being able to fall pregnant. The culprit is progestin and how it acts on your body.

Read on for more information and about the other options you have!

There’s new research specific for overweight woman and their choice of contraceptives

One of the main aspects of the study was to identify the risks of the most common contraceptive used in obese women.
If you’re obese, your doctor won’t give you the choice of a typical contraceptive. You wouldn’t be able to use one that contains oestrogen because of how your fat cells store and use it. It could be very dangerous to your health.
Instead, he’d typically give you a progestin one. He’d put you on a long acting reversible contraception (LARC) device, that’s inserted into your uterus.
But when researchers looked into what it could do to you, they found it also may not be so good for you health.
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The study found that your risk of type 2 diabetes increases with this method

Three groups of obese women took part in the six-month long study.
The first group used a contraceptive without any hormonal influence. The second group had a LARC device inserted into their uterus – an inter-uterine device (IUD) – which released progestin. The third group also had a LARC device, but this time, researchers put it under the skin.
When the results came back it was clear: Both groups of women with the progestin devices had changes in their blood sugar levels.
In the women with the inter-uterine LARC device, researchers saw a 5% increase in their fasting blood sugar levels. The women with the device under their skin saw double the increase at 10%.
Other studies showed similar results when participants received a progestin injection.
And so researchers conclude that pushing progestin directly into your system raises your type 2 diabetes risk.
But you can take control of your risk by making a decision about the type of contraceptive you want to use.
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Use these three tips to decide on the best type of contraceptive for you

Tip #1: Use an inter-uterine progestin device rather than injection or skin insert
Researchers conclude it’s much safer for you to use the IUD even though it still releases progestin. Just remember to have regular check ups of both the device and the effect it has on your health.
Tip #2: Ask your doctor about non-hormonal choices
If you’d rather not take the risk of a LARC releasing progestin, ask your doctor about non-hormonal options you can use.
The copper-T is a common non-hormonal contraceptive.
Tip #3: Take care of your overall health to prevent type 2 diabetes
It’s not only your choice of contraceptive that raises your type 2 diabetes risk, your weight, diet and overall health do too.
Not only will reducing your weight and focussing on a healthy diet lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, it’ll prevent long term health risks too.
Speak to your doctor about your contraceptive options today and make an informed decision about your options so they don’t end up harming your health and leaving you with type 2 diabetes.

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