There is no strong consensus among doctors in Greece about what type of birth control young women with type 1 diabetes should use, according to a recent study. In addition, Greek gynecologists have limited experience in counseling and training young women about their diabetes. These findings were published in the December 2001 issue of the European Journal of Gynecology and Reproduction.
Researchers from the University of Giessen in Germany sent a questionnaire to 400 Greek gynecologists asking about their attitudes toward their young patients with type 1 diabetes, their healthcare practices and the birth control advice they give to these women.
Only 17.5 percent of those questioned responded to the survey. Of that group, 64 percent indicated that they recommend condoms as the preferred type of birth control. Fifty-seven percent noted that, to help ensure a planned pregnancy under safe conditions, they recommend condoms specifically for women with type 1 diabetes who smoke. The criteria the doctors use to choose a type of birth control are based on safety- and diabetes-related problems.
The researchers also found that the doctors do not have a great deal of experience in counseling and treating young women with type 1. The study observes that this situation is similar to that reported in Germany.
Deciding on proper birth control recommendations for young women with diabetes is “crucial” for providing good medical care for this age group, researchers say, adding that “safe and effective contraceptive methods are essential for these women in order to have a ‘planned pregnancy’ under optimal conditions.”