The effects of hormonal contraceptives on glycemic regulation

Linacre Q. 2014 Aug;81(3):209-18. doi: 10.1179/2050854914Y.0000000023.


A number of side effects have been linked to the use of hormonal contraceptives, among others, alterations in glucose levels. Hence, the objective of this mini-review is to show the main effects of hormonal contraceptive intake on glycemic regulation. First, the most relevant studies on this topic are described, then the mechanisms that might be accountable for this glycemic regulation impairment as exerted by hormonal contraceptives are discussed. Finally, we briefly discuss the ethical responsibility of health professionals to inform about the potential risks on glycemic homeostasis regarding hormonal contraceptive intake.

Keywords: Glycemic homeostasis; Hormonal contraception; Impaired glucose tolerance; Insulin resistance.