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Type 1 diabetes and contraception

Making sure you're having safe sex is really important, it protects you from any sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. All of the different contraception methods are okay to use if you have Type 1 diabetes.

Contraception allows you to choose when and whether you want to have a baby. It doesn't protect you from sexually transmitted infections, or STI's, so you should always make sure you use a condom.

Contraception

If you're a woman, you might have thought about using the pill. Type 1 diabetes doesn't put you at an increased risk of side effects like high blood pressure and thrombosis.

There are different types of contraceptive pill and other methods of contraception. To find out what would work for you, go to:

Family Planning Association

NHS Choices 

Make sure you talk to your doctor about which would work for you best. 
 

Contraception Services

Contraceptive services are free and confidential in the UK. You can access these services if you're under 16 as long as the nurses and doctors think you're mature enough to understand the information and decisions you'll make. 

You can get contraception free from:

  • most GP surgeries 
  • community contraception clinics
  • some genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics
  • sexual health clinics (these offer contraceptive and STI testing services) 

Many of these services also offer information, testing and treatment for STIs.
 

Sex and diabetes

When you meet a new partner you should tell them about your Type 1 diabetes. This is useful so they know what to do in an emergency or why you might need to stop to treat a hypo.  

Remember that sex counts as exercise, so you might want to keep some glucose tablets to hand.

Thrush

You might find that you get thrush from time to time which is a fungal infection that causes genital itching and discharge. It's common if you have Type 1 if your blood sugar levels are high, so managing your diabetes will mean you're less likely to get thrush. 

You can treat thrush really easy, by getting a prescription for a cream. This is free if you're under 18 and if you take insulin, but it's worth getting a diagnosis from your doctor to make sure it's actually thrush. 

Thrush can be passed back and forth quite easily, so it's worth treating your partner if you have one. 

It's also important to remember that if using condoms, creams can weaken the latex and cause the condom to break or split.
 

Find a free contraception or STI clinic

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