Many women with diabetes notice changes in glucose control perimenstrually. To describe the pattern of changes in glucose control throughout the complete menstrual cycle, and the reproducibility of these changes, we performed a pilot study evaluating glycemic profiles continuously for three cycles in four women with type 1 diabetes. All participants had hemoglobin A1c <7.5% and regular menstrual periods off oral contraceptives. They used Medtronic MiniMed (Northridge, CA) Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS®) devices continuously for three complete menstrual cycles, checked capillary glucose measurements six times daily, changed their own sensors every 3 days, and were seen seven times per menstrual cycle to download data and draw blood. Prolonged monitoring was safely carried out over three consecutive menstrual cycles. We observed two different patterns of glycemic control in relation to the menstrual cycle in these women. The first pattern, seen in two women, was characterized by increased frequency of hyperglycemia in the luteal phase. One of these women also had a hyperglycemic peak in the follicular phase. In the other two women, no characteristic cycle-related pattern was noted. The glucose profiles appeared reproducible between cycles in all women, but varied between women. Thus the menstrual cycle has a reproducible effect on glucose control in a subset of women with type 1 diabetes. Prolonged use of continuous glucose monitoring was safe in the subjects studied, and is the first method clinically available to monitor glucose control over prolonged periods in individuals with diabetes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Medical Laboratory Technology