Consumption of oral contraception, commonly known as the Pill, has raised the risk of type 2 diabetes, reveals a 22-year long study of 80,000 women.

Research has found that women who take the Pill are a third more likely to get the disease than those who have never used it.

Scientists blame a rush of hormones for the link, which is possibly the reason for how the body breaks down sugar.

The study was taken of 83,799 French women between 1992 and 2014 by Dr Sopio Tatulashvili, from Avicenne Hospital, France and her colleagues.


The scientists took into account each of the women's body weight, smoking status, age, physical activity, wealth, education level, family history and blood pressure.

"Risk induced by oral contraceptives could lead to personalised advice for young women at risk of developing T2D, such as those with a family history of diabetes, those who are overweight or obese, or those with polycystic ovary syndrome," they said.

Through the study, it was discovered that the use of oral contraceptive pills, at least once over a lifetime compared with no use, led to a 33 per cent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Despite their finding of the increased risk, there is no proof that the Pill directly causes type 2 diabetes and therefore there should not be fear among women who are currently taking or are on the Pill.

Professor of metabolic medicine Naveed Sattar from the University of Glasgow admits that the findings did not surprise him.

"The researchers are very modest about the significance of the findings. It hasn't shown to be a direct cause, but is in keeping with what we know," he revealed.

"It's biologically plausible. The Pill can stress your metabolism and can worsen insulin resistance - when insulin doesn't work as well as it should."

"But in the grand scheme of things, women don't need to stop taking contraceptive pills. If a woman is at risk of type 2 diabetes because she is overweight, she should look into losing weight first."


Dr Channa Jayasena, a reproductive endocrinology expert said: "The combined oral contraception pill contains an "extra-strong" version of estrogen, so it is possible that the metabolism might be affected."

"Previous studies have suggested that the Pill may slightly reduce the body's ability to use sugar after a meal, and the preliminary results of this study supports that view," she added.

"It is important to emphasise that [if proven true], the Pill is much less important for diabetes risk than body weight, exercise and family history."

"Women should be reassured that the Pill is overall immensely safe, and nothing, in this study changes that view.'" Jayasena concluded.

The 22-year study also discovered that women who have longer menstrual cycles also had an increased risk of type 2 diabetes by about a quarter.

Diabetes UK's Dr Faye Riley Diabetes said: "While this study helps us start to understand how changing hormone levels might contribute to a woman's risk of type 2 diabetes, it cannot point to the reasons why these connections may exist and – importantly – doesn't prove that taking the Pill can cause the condition."

The findings were presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Barcelona.