Recent research has suggested that birth control pills risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Although previous studies have been able to establish an association between the use of hormonal contraceptives and increased blood glucose, as well as changes in lipids, there have been no reliable data to date on whether it could also increase the risk of gestational diabetes.
Now, an extensive study has analysed this problem. Conducted by North American experts (PRAMES study), it analysed data from 2007 and 2008, and included 78% of all births in the United States. The study included answers from 2741 women who stated that they or their partners used a contraceptive method: Birth control pills, tubal ligature, vasectomy, contraceptive pills, condoms, intrauterine devices, etc.
Of the women who participated in the study, 8.3% were diagnosed with gestational diabetes in their last pregnancy, which means that these women have a 43% increased risk of having this type of diabetes, when this risk is compared with that of women who did not use any type of contraception.
One significant finding is that women whose pregnancy was unplanned had a 61% lower risk of developing gestational diabetes than the other women in whom the pregnancy was planned.
Another interesting finding is that women aged 30 or over had a higher risk than those aged under 20 years.
It should also be noted that gestational diabetes is increasing worldwide, and has doubled in the United States since 1990 (JAMA 312; 992, 2014).