Women

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The heart of the matter: cardiovascular disease

While pre-menopausal women without diabetes are protected from cardiovascular disease (CVD), women with diabetes lose the protective effect of female sex hormones. Consequently, CVD is the leading cause of death and disability in women with diabetes. However, by knowing and controlling the risk factors for CVD, one can do much to prevent or delay its development—even in this high-risk group.

In the mood: sex and the woman with diabetes

We, women with diabetes have known it for as long as we have been women with diabetes: our problems associated with sexual function are a result of our moods, our sense of self, our body image, our psychological state, as well as our degree of control over our lives and our diabetes. At last the scientific literature has caught up with us.

Contraception: making the right choice

There are no contraceptive methods that are specifically contraindicated in women with diabetes. Given the increased risks associated with unplanned pregnancy, methods with proven high degrees of effectiveness are to be preferred. The most important medical factor which affects the choice of contraception is the presence of vascular complications. For this reason women with diabetes should be evaluated by a physician before making their contraceptive choices. Contraceptive counselling should be an integrated part of care for all women with diabetes of childbearing age.

Eating disorders and other vulnerabilities: a passing phase?

The metabolic control of diabetes tends to deteriorate during the adolescent years, and this deterioration is more pronounced in teenage girls than boys. Efforts to achieve and maintain excellent blood glucose control are more difficult and less successful in adolescents than in adults. This suggests that the teenage years are a highly vulnerable period for girls with Type 1 diabetes, a time when the risk for the later development of diabetes-related complications may become accelerated.

Girl power

Any girl will be able to tell you that life as a teenager comes with its own challenges. Mix these challenges with diabetes and you have a cocktail of perplexing bewilderment and confusion at times! These three testimonies from South Africa show that diabetes in the teenage years can be scary, but ultimately can make you a stronger person.

Gestational diabetes: what every mother needs to know

Gestational diabetes is diabetes which is diagnosed when a woman is pregnant. It may have been there before pregnancy without her knowing it, or it may have been brought about by the pregnancy itself. Either way, the woman needs to be as well informed about it as possible, as it can affect both her baby and herself on the short and long term.

Women with diabetes: facing double discrimination?

Being a woman and having diabetes can mean double discrimination for women all over the world. Even more so in many developing countries, where women, whether they have diabetes or not, still have to fight harder than ever to achieve equal rights and equal opportunities. This article, however, will not offer a helpless victim's point of view.

Dedicated mothers: managing diabetes during pregnancy

Today, the chances of a successful pregnancy in a woman with diabetes are close to those of a woman without diabetes, providing diabetes and obstetric care is optimal. In other words, if a woman is able to look after her health, then in most cases diabetes should not prevent her from having a healthy baby.

Pre-pregnancy care

In women with diabetes who come late in their pregnancy for antenatal care, it is difficult to calculate how many weeks pregnant they are, and hence difficult to optimize the time of delivery. Serious complications of diabetes can deteriorate and there is a high incidence of major birth defects in the babies. These abnormalities arise in the first ten weeks of pregnancy, which may be before a woman even knows she is pregnant or before she would come for antenatal care.

Female focus

President's editorial

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