OBJECTIVE: Menstrual irregularities, reproductive abnormalities, and androgen excess are reported to be more prevalent in women with type 1 diabetes (T1D). The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of menstrual irregularities, reproductive abnormalities, and androgen excess among women with T1D and their age-matched controls.
METHODS: A survey requesting information regarding menstrual and reproductive histories was administered to all participants. Results were stratified according to age (18 to 40, 40 to 50, and >50 years).
RESULTS: There were no significant differences between women with and without diabetes in age at menarche, cycle length, or androgen excess in any group. Women who self-reported difficulty with glycemic control were more likely to report irregular menses than controls (P = .04). Among women who reported ever being pregnant, there were fewer pregnancies (P = .02) and live births (P = .002) in women with T1D. Women with T1D reported a lower frequency of oral contraceptive use (P = .003), despite being less likely to smoke (P = .016).
CONCLUSION: Menstrual and reproductive abnormalities were not observed more frequently in women with T1D in this study. Subtle but measurable differences in menstrual and reproductive function were confined to the subgroup of women who perceived poor control of their diabetes. Additional prospective studies of T1D and menstrual and reproductive function would be useful.
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