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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


OSMAN, Ayesha; HOFFMAN, Anne  and  VAN DER SPUY, Zephne. Reproductive knowledge and use of contraception among women with diabetes. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2015, vol.105, n.9, pp.760-764. ISSN 2078-5135.

BACKGROUND: Poorly controlled diabetes is associated with poor maternal and fetal outcomes, yet many women become pregnant before establishing control. Reducing unintended pregnancies is a vital step towards improving perinatal and maternal morbidity and mortality OBJECTIVES: To assess the reproductive knowledge and use of contraception in women of reproductive age attending diabetes outpatient clinics METHODS: A prospective descriptive study was conducted of women known to have diabetes, aged 18 - 45 years, attending the diabetic clinics at Groote Schuur Hospital or the local community health centres in Cape Town, South Africa. A questionnaire consisting of social, demographic and family details as well as contraceptive use and knowledge was administered RESULTS: Some common themes emerged, namely that 44.2% of the women with previous pregnancies had had unintended pregnancies, and that this was more common among single (58.8%) and younger women. Women with type 1 diabetes had better knowledge than those with type 2 diabetes of how pregnancy affects diabetes, but better knowledge did not translate to better contraception use. Despite the fact that 102 participants (88.7%) attended diabetes clinics two or more times a year, knowledge of pregnancy- and reproductive health-related complications was limited, and only 30 participants (26.1%) had received advice on contraception at these clinics CONCLUSION: Knowledge about the impact of diabetes on pregnancy and that of pregnancy on diabetes was suboptimal. We recommend that reproductive health services be included at the routine diabetes clinic visit

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