Description and comparison of postpartum use of effective contraception among women with and without diabetes
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Description and comparison of postpartum use of effective contraception among women with and without diabetes

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  • English

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      As diabetes is increasing among women of reproductive age in the United States, access to effective contraception is important to allow time for optimal glycemic control which may mitigate complications in future pregnancies. This study sought to describe contraceptive use and compare the effectiveness of contraceptive methods among postpartum women with and without diabetes.

      Study design:

      This study used data from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System and included women with recent live births during 2012–2015 (N = 93,574). Women were asked about pre-gestational or recent gestational diabetes and their postpartum contraceptive method. Chi-square and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to compare contraceptive methods between women with and without diabetes.


      Contraceptive prevalence was similar between women with (82%) and without (83%) diabetes; women with diabetes were more likely to use the most effective methods. This was driven by higher use of female sterilization among women with diabetes (15%) compared to women without diabetes (9%) (p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, odds of use of female sterilization versus reversible prescription methods was higher among women with diabetes than women without diabetes (adjusted odds ratio 1.29, 95% confidence interval 1.19–1.39).


      Although overall postpartum contraceptive use was high, only 1/3 of women with or without diabetes were using the most effective methods. Furthermore, women with diabetes were more likely to use female sterilization than women without diabetes. It is important all postpartum women, particularly those with high risk pregnancies such as women with diabetes, receive counseling about and access to all contraceptive methods.


      It is important for clinicians to counsel women with pregnancies affected by diabetes that reversible contraceptives such as implants and IUDs are as effective as female permanent contraception.

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