Contraception administered orally or by injection has no adverse effect on glucose and insulin levels, a US study has found.
The only method seen to trigger a rise was depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), the researchers said. DMPA, known as the “birth control shot”, triggered a steady rise in levels of glucose during the first 30 months of use.
The study was published in January 2011 issue of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Fasting glucose and insulin levels were measured on 703 women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate, oral contraceptive pills, or non hormonal birth control at baseline and every six months thereafter for three years.
Study author Dr Abbey Berenson, from the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Women’s Health at the University of Texas, said: “Further studies are needed to determine how women with diabetes are affected by DMPA and oral contraception, but these results are reassuring for non-diabetic women already receiving the shot or on the pill.”
Meanwhile, previous studies have investigated the links between contraception and weight gain and bone density loss.
Dr Berenson added: “Taken together this body of research helps dispel myths surrounding birth control and shed light on side effects that had been anecdotally reported but not yet proven.
“Physicians can now better explain the risks and benefits of various birth control methods and take appropriate action to protect patients’ long-term health, which may include switching to another contraception method.”