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Medication safety

IUD and subdermal contraceptives minimise thromboembolism risk

A US study considers the safety of hormonal contraception with regard to thromoboembolic events for women with diabetes.

Close up of an intrauterine device (IUD)


Researchers explored the risk of thromboembolism related to different types of hormonal contraception in women with diabetes

Women with diabetes are less likely to receive contraceptive counselling than other women, which may result from prescribers’ concerns over the increased baseline risk for thromboembolism in this group.

Researchers in the United States explored the risk of thromboembolism related to different types of hormonal contraception in a large population of women (n=146,080) with diabetes. They found that the lowest risk of thromboembolism was in women using an intrauterine device (IUD; 6 per 1,000 woman-years) or subdermal implant (0 per 164 woman-years). The highest risk was seen among contraceptive patch users (16 per 1,000 woman-years).

Reporting in Diabetes Care[1] (online, 9 November 2016), the team says the absolute risk of thromboembolism for women with diabetes who use hormonal contraception is low (<17 per 1,000 woman-years) and the IUD and subdermal implant provide “excellent options” for those who wish to avoid unplanned pregnancies.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/CP.2017.20202202

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Supplementary images

  • Close up of an intrauterine device (IUD)

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