The Supreme Court Decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate the constitutional right to abortion access has left many feeling concerned and vulnerable. It's estimated that about one in four women in the U.S. will have an abortion by age 45.
You may wonder what reproductive health care and diabetes have in common? Women and all people capable of pregnancy choose to terminate a pregnancy for deeply personal reasons, but medical reasons are a significant concern. Those with diabetes face additional challenges when it comes to reproductive health.
High blood sugar during pregnancy can lead to serious complications during and after pregnancy. That's why access to quality reproductive healthcare, including abortion care, is crucial when you have diabetes.
Pregnancy and diabetes
A healthy pregnancy is absolutely possible for people with diabetes. With medical management and support, you can have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
- Macrosomia (large baby which makes delivery harder)
- Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure)
- Unplanned delivery by C-section
- Preterm birth
- Miscarriage or stillbirth
- Breathing problems or low blood sugar for newborn
If blood sugars are within goal ranges before and during pregnancy, the risks for both mother and baby are much lower.
But here's the thing. Pregnancy doesn't always happen as planned or when it's convenient. And for those living with diabetes, access to quality reproductive healthcare, including birth control and abortion care, is essential.
Birth control is recommended for anyone with diabetes
It's estimated that around 50 percent of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. As a result, birth control is recommended for anyone living with diabetes, so you get to decide when you feel healthy and ready to start or expand your family.
Thankfully, there are birth control options to fit every lifestyle, including:
- Birth control pill
- Hormonal IUD
- Copper IUD
- Implants like Nexplanon
- Depo-Provera shots
- Barrier methods like the patch, ring, or sponge
Depending on your health history and lifestyle, your healthcare provider will work with you to find the best method of birth control for you.
Your reproductive and sexual health is as important as any other aspect of health and wellness. A conversation with your doctor is essential to make informed decisions about your body, fertility, and sex life.
Don't be afraid to ask if your doctor doesn't bring it up. You deserve a healthcare provider who will listen to your concerns and help you find the necessary resources and information.
Telehealth and reproductive healthcare
Abortion remains legal with legal access in many states. But, if you live in a state with restricted access or legality is in question, it can feel overwhelming and stressful.
Abortion bans disproportionately affect people living in rural locations and those who can't afford to travel to a state where abortion is still legal and accessible. It harms those who already suffer from healthcare disparities, like people of color or the LGBTQ+ community.
At 9am.health, we believe telemedicine is a way to make quality healthcare accessible for anyone, no matter their location, and that includes reproductive healthcare.
In 2021, the FDA changed its in-person requirements for receiving the abortion pill, mifepristone, making it possible to get the medication through a telehealth visit with online follow-up care.
If you live in a state where abortion access has not been banned, you can still use telehealth to consult with a provider about your abortion care options without having to travel or take time off work.
Unfortunately, with the supreme court decision, telehealth for abortion care has also been limited. However, there are still online resources to help. These options provide information on safe telehealth access, legal services, and financial assistance for those seeking an abortion.
Diabetes care should include reproductive healthcare
Open and ongoing discussions about birth control while feeling supported to make decisions about your body are also all part of comprehensive diabetes care.
People living with diabetes can start a family safely, and this includes access to resources that make pregnancy a positive choice.
If starting or adding to your family is a priority for you, 9am.health can help you feel empowered to manage your blood sugar confidently so you can stay healthy before, during, and after pregnancy.
If you want to learn more about how to best manage your diabetes during different stages of your reproductive life, 9am.health is here to support you wherever you are in your journey.