Birth Control and Weight Gain: How to Avoid the Nasty Side Effect None of Us Want

Birth Control and Weight Gain: How to Avoid the Nasty Side Effect None of Us Want

Birth Control and Weight Gain: How to Avoid the Nasty Side Effect None of Us Want


Decades ago, hormonal contraception used hormones at levels much higher than we use today. It’s true that high levels of oestrogen can increase appetite and invite fluid or water retention. Changes in hormonal birth control and advances in combination forms of the pill have addressed this issue. Most, if not all, pills lack high enough oestrogen levels to cause weight gain.


Study after study has examined the relationship between today’s most popular forms of hormonal contraception and weight gain. The vast majority of these studies have found no reasonable evidence to support the claim. Any weight gain that may occur in the first weeks or months after beginning birth control is typically due to water retention. It isn’t actual fat gain.”


What Causes Weight Gain when Using Contraceptives?


Changes in Routine

If you’ve recently changed jobs and find yourself sedentary for most of your day, you may begin noticing a gradual weight gain. Sitting for large segments of your day is unhealthy. Doing so can lead to weight gain, among other side effects.


Changes in Diet

Are you eating out more than usual? Gradual increases in your calorie intake can add inches around your waistline. Monitor your daily calorie consumption with the help of a food tracker, such as MyFitnessPal, and you should be able to maintain your current weight or lose some weight if that’s your goal.


Changes in Metabolism

Depending on your age, your metabolism could be contributing to changes in weight and energy. As you age, your metabolism can take a nosedive. Without your body’s natural calorie-burning ability, you may see inches and pounds creep on. Ask your doctor to conduct a metabolism blood test to see if you have any contributing conditions that might be impacting your body’s calorie-burning abilities.


Are Some People More Likely to Gain Weight than Others?

Studies don’t show that any particular groups of women are more inclined to experience weight gain than another. Your weight when you begin taking the pill shouldn’t affect your risk, either. One study found that girls under the age of 18 who are obese aren’t at a higher risk of gaining weight when taking the pill.


Extremely high levels of oestrogen can sometimes affect appetite and invite water retention. If your hormonal form of contraception has a high dose of oestrogen, you may be more likely to see a change on the scale. If that’s the case, talk to your doctor about changing medicines so you can have a lower level of oestrogen.”



There is no better time than now; try the IUB – one of the best non-hormonal contraceptives to help mitigate hormone-related water retention and weight gain!


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