OBJECTIVE Because unplanned pregnancies could cause maternal-fetal complications for women with diabetes, family planning vigilance (FPV) is imperative. The aims of this article are to operationalize and describe FPV and examine the associations among FPV behaviors and diabetes self-care management (DSM) and health outcomes of women with type 1 diabetes (T1D).
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Retrospective data were used from a follow-up study of adult women with T1D who participated as adolescents in a preconception counseling (PC) intervention trial and matched comparison women with T1D who did not receive the adolescent PC intervention. Participants completed online questionnaires regarding family planning behaviors, DSM, and clinical and reproductive health outcomes.
RESULTS Participants (N = 102) were, on average, 23.7 years old (range 18–38) and 98.0% were white, 82.2% had some college, 25.8% were married, and 11.8% had biological children. Of those sexually active (n = 80, 78.4%), 50% were contraceptive vigilant and 11% were FPV (i.e., being contraceptive vigilant, receiving PC, and initiating discussions with health care professionals). Among FPV behaviors, only receiving PC and initiating discussion with health care professionals were correlated (r = 0.29, P = 0.010). Compared with nonvigilant women, contraceptive vigilant and FPV women used more effective contraceptive methods (P = 0.025) and experienced less diabetic ketoacidosis (P = 0.040) and hospitalizations (P = 0.064), whereas FPV women were aware of PC (P = 0.046) and younger when they received PC (P < 0.001). FPV components were associated with DSM and health outcomes (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS Women with diabetes should be FPV, but few were. FPV women were more likely to have PC earlier and better health outcomes, supporting early PC intervention.
- Received August 1, 2016.
- Accepted September 23, 2016.
- © 2016 by the American Diabetes Association.