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    Variability of Glycemic Outcomes and Insulin Requirements Throughout the Menstrual Cycle: A Qualitative Study on Women With Type 1 Diabetes Using an Open-Source Automated Insulin Delivery System
    Background: The impact of hormone dynamics throughout the menstrual cycle on insulin sensitivity represents a currently under-researched area. Despite therapeutic and technological advances, self-managing insulin therapy remains challenging for women with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Methods: To investigate perceived changes in glycemic levels and insulin requirements throughout the menstrual cycle and different phases of life, we performed semi-structured interviews with 12 women with T1D who are using personalized open-source automated insulin delivery (AID) systems. Transcripts were analyzed using thematic analysis with an inductive, hypothesis-generating approach. Results: Participants reported significant differences between the follicular phase, ovulation, and luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and also during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. All participants reported increased comfort and safety since using AID, but were still required to manually adjust their therapy according to their cycle. A lack of information and awareness and limited guidance by health care providers were frequently mentioned. Although individual adjustment strategies exist, achieving optimum outcomes was still perceived as challenging. Conclusions: This study highlights that scientific evidence, therapeutic options, and professional guidance on female health-related aspects in T1D are insufficient to date. Further efforts are required to better inform people with T1D, as well as for health care professionals, researchers, medical device manufacturers, and regulatory bodies to better address female health needs in therapeutic advances.
      97Scopus© Citations 5